14 SES 07 C JS, Conceptual and Empirical Perspectives on Student Wellbeing
Joint Paper Session NW 08 and NW 14
Children’s wellbeing is identified as one of the central goals of education and is addressed in numerous ways within international curriculum frameworks and teaching and school leadership standards. Cultural dimensions of wellbeing represent a growing area of interest in education research, particularly in Europe and the United Kingdom. Cultural wellbeing is appearing in educational policy in numerous countries, but there is little empirical research or educational theory specifically addressing this area.
Responding to the call to inquire into questions such as ‘What is the position of research in examining and (re)connecting educational reform imperatives and school health and wellbeing?’, this presentation explores the newly emerging concept of cultural wellbeing and its relevance to schooling. Two research questions frame this inquiry: (i) What does cultural wellbeing mean to educators? and (ii) How do educators support cultural wellbeing in classroom communities? These questions form both the challenge and the inquiry of a study of cultural wellbeing being conducted with educators and students in school classroom communities in the Australian state of Tasmania.
A Bourdieuian framework is employed in theorising from a case study conducted in a Cultural Arts program in a Tasmanian primary school. Within this program Aboriginal students engaged in visual arts employing traditional and contemporary art making practices conducted in ways which valued Aboriginal traditions, community participation and aligned with culturally strong programs (Guilfoyle et al., 2010). The Cultual Arts program connected curriculum learning outcomes from the Australian Curriculum in the Arts (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015) with broader social and cultural wellbeing objectives for students.
Cultural wellbeing is discussed in relation to the Cultural Arts program in terms of its affordances for developing students’ social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986).This case study is further considered in relation to the broader field of education through Bourdieu's theories of social reproduction. This study contributes to sociological understandings necessary to enact current education policies which call for teachers and educators to support children’s wellbeing in schooling.
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2015). The Australian Curriculum: The Arts - Visual Arts (Version 8.0). Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/the-arts/visual-arts/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#level5-6 Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York, NY: Greenwood. Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Clarke, A. (2005). Situational Analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Guilfoyle, A., Sims, M., Saggers, S., & Hutchins, T. (2010). Culturally strong childcare programs for Indigenous children, families and communities. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(3), 68–76.
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