25 SES 11, Civil Disobedience, Teachers' and Children’s Views
The main aim of the paper is to explore different European perspectives about the contribution of music and arts based practices in classroom settings to the implementation of UNCRC.
The opportunity for this discussion arises within a current strategic partnership funded by ERASMUS + ‘Sustaining Teachers and Learners with the Arts; Relational Health in Schools’ (STALWARTS: 2017-1-UK01-KA203-036723) which is an extension of the previous successful project ERASMUS + ‘Learning in a New Key: Engaging Vulnerable Young People in School Education’ (LINK: 2015-1-UK01-KA201- 013752). The 2 projects have been enhancing school based provisions for vulnerable young people who face exclusion from social and educational opportunities due to personal conditions resulting from their trauma histories. The partnerships have adopted participatory action research approaches which have engaged teachers and music / arts-based therapists in sharing their knowledge and skills and in exploring the outcomes of their innovative practices in the context of classrooms in 6 schools in 6 different European countries. They have undertaken open ended enquiries appropriate for inter professional engagement in this new professional field characterised as ‘therapeutically inspired teaching practice’. This draws on the recognised field of practice ‘creative attachment therapy’ (after Schore, 1994, Malchiodi, 2008, Perry & Hambrick, 2008, Bunt & Stige 2014, Hendry & Hasler 2017) and has developed new music / arts-based repertoires that teachers have included in their teaching practices. Creative attachment therapy approaches provide opportunities for non verbal communication and for collaboration between professionals (teachers and music / arts-based therapists) and young people which can contribute to repairing attachment patterns. The approaches are classified as ‘creative’ because they can involve the modalities of visual art, music, dance, drama and movement and also they encourage the creative processes of self expression, sensory engagement and communication. These dimensions of the creative process use the right hemisphere of the brain where young people with adverse childhood experiences (including trauma, abuse and neglect) have suffered damage leading to disordered and avoidant attachment patterns. Music therapy is recognised as an effective therapeutic intervention to promote the development of attachment between children and their primary caregivers, termed ‘communicative musicality’ (Trevarthen & Malloch 2000).
These practices have been incorporated within therapeutically inspired teaching practices during the LINK Project. Earlier enquiries have focussed on their impact on vulnerable young people in supporting transitions into learning (Tarr & Addessi 2017). Data were gathered using an innovative observation schedule drawing on Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of FLOW to identify and measure young people’s sensory and relational engagement Other enquiries focussed on the impact on the participating teachers’ view of their roles and competences as they incorporate these new repertoires within their professional practices (Clough et al 2017).
Within the current STALWARTS Project the named authors are exploring the following related research questions within the context of 3 participating special schools in Norway, Portugal and the UK.
1) In what ways is the implementation of the protection and participatory rights enshrined in UNCRC exemplified through case study material about creative attachment therapy practices in classroom settings?
2) What can teachers learn about their wider professional responsibilities by listening to vulnerable young people communicating about their rights to experience music and arts-based activities in the classroom?
Exploration of these questions is relevant to the research-based elements of new accredited professional programmes of study which the partnership is developing in order to accredit the participating teachers’ and therapists’ new practices within classroom settings. The first module requires participants to synthesise the fields of attachment focussed teaching and the protection/ participatory dimensions of UNCRC recognising that the interpretations of UNCRC will be various according to the cultural setting.
The 4 stages of enquiry will all have been conducted within the framework of the BERA guidelines for ethical educational research. Stage 1 Previous enquiries in the UK during the LINK Project have generated narrative accounts of music/ arts based therapeutically inspired teaching practices which have complemented quantitative data gathered through the FLOW Observation Schedule and exemplified new teacher competences. These data will be reviewed with reference to 3 selected cases exemplifying the implementation of UNCRC with respect to categories relevant to Article 3: The Best Interests of the Child together with Article 39: The Right to Re-habilitation. These categories include Article 6: Survival and Development. Article 13: Freedom of Expression. Article 19: Protection from Abuse and Neglect. Article 23: Children with Disabilities. Article 24: Health and Health Services. Article 28; Education. Article 29: Aims of Education . Article 31: Leisure, Recreation, Cultural Activities. This enquiry will create an innovative base line for the paper through drawing together UNCRC principles, young people’s responses with respect to relevant categories of FLOW and written accounts of young people’s and teachers’ actions and products. Stage 2 This base line of exemplification material will provide an accessible testing ground for the teachers working with the music /arts-based therapists in the 3 schools. This approach of preparing narrative accounts will be re-implemented during 2 sessions in the 3 schools to facilitate discussions between the teachers and the young people about the significance of the activities for their well being and participation. These discussions will be conducted and recorded within a rights respecting framework and which draws on both the teachers’ and young peoples’ developing understanding of the fundamental UNCRC principles that are being explored. Stage 3 This enquiry will be developed through further exploration that involves working from digital recordings from one music based therapeutically inspired teaching practice session in each of the 3 schools, (after Kruger & Stige 2016, Curtis S & Vaillancourt 2016). These musical data will then be used as a basis for recorded discussions between the teachers and music therapists so that the original non verbal communications between the teachers and young people can be appraised as experiences that safeguard and promote UNCRC within the classroom settings. Stage 4 The enquiry will be complemented by discussions between the participants about the diverse perceptions of UNCRC that emerge from this trans European inter professional exploration of the applications and implications of UNCRC.
The inter-professional exchanges during the enquiries between the worlds of education and therapy provide opportunities for teachers and music / arts-based therapists to find connections between their work at both practical and theoretical levels. These enquiries will facilitate the exploration of different European perspectives about the contribution of music and arts based practices to the implementation of UNCRC. This in turn has the potential to widen the scope that UNCRC provides for evaluating and legitimating new music and arts based measures to support vulnerable young people in school settings. Musical interactions will be used as a basis for re-exploring the applications of UNCRC within teachers’ developing role as therapeutically inspired teaching practitioners. The paper will explore how musical conversations between young people and teachers can be seen as opportunities for non verbal open ended dialogue and co-reflection that are as meaningful as those that teachers routinely try to stimulate through verbal interactions in classrooms (Mercer 2008). The paper will provide descriptions of the use music as a tool that facilitates the creation of an arena in school settings where young people’s voices can be formed, expressed and heard. The enquiry will open up professional discussions about how such music making plays a part in prompting young people to act, reflect and influence their relationships, their learning environments and their use of the school surroundings in new ways that reflect UNCRC principles. The paper will explore the impact on teachers’ perceptions of their role of listening to young people’s reflections about UNCRC in the context of collaborative music making. A question that the paper will address is the extent to which teachers in different cultural settings can begin to associate UNCRC principles with their own professional development and re-orientation.
Bunt, L. & Stige, B. (2014) Music Therapy: An art beyond words, Routledge: Hove Curtis, S. & Vaillancourt, G. (2012) The Children’s Right to Music Project, IN. Original Voices: Perspectives on Practice, Volume 12. No 3 Clough, N. et al (2017) Exploring Teacher Competences for Relational Health in Schools, IN Education, Society and Culture, Engaging Vulnerable Young People through the Arts, Vol 50: 15-32, University of Porto Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996) Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper‐Collins Publishers. Hendry, A. & Hasler, J. (2017). Creative Therapies for Complex Trauma. Helping Children and Families in Foster Care, Kinship Care or Adoption. London: Jessica Kingsley Krüger, V. & Stige, B. (2016). Between rights and realities – Music as a structuring resource in the context of child welfare aftercare. A qualitative study IN Nordic journal of music therapy, DOI: 10.1080/ 08098131.2014.890242. Malchiodi, C. (Ed) (2008) Creative `Interventions with Traumatised Children London/New York: Guilford Press Malloch, S. & Trevarthen, C. (Eds.) (2009). Communicative Musicality. Exploring the Basis of Human Companionship. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mercer, N. (2008) Talk and the Development of Reasoning and Understanding, Human Development, 51(1): 90-100 Perry, B. and Hambrick, E. (2008) The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics IN Reclaiming Youth, Volume 17 No 3 pp 38-43 Schore, A. (1994) Affect Regulation and the origin of the self, Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum Tarr, J. & Addessi, A. R. (2017) Preparing to Observe the Impact of Therapeutic Teaching Practices IN Education, Society and Culture, Engaging Vulnerable Young People through the Arts, Volume 50: 15-32, University of Porto UNCRC (1989) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, London: UNICEF (www.unicef.org.uk)
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