It\'s Like Watching Someone\'s Life Go Past! Young Children\'s Perspectives on Live Arts Performance

Wendy Schiller
page. 123~138 / 2007 Vol.1 No.1


This paper reports on an Australian longitudinal research project toexplore and document children s perspectives on live arts performance and theimpact on children, their teachers and school communities. The researchinvolved collaboration between a State Department of Education andChildren s Services, a National Performing Arts company and a UniversityResearch Institute for Early Childhood and Family Studies. 135 children fromfour elementary schools attended two to three arts performances a year forthree years at a major performing arts venue. This paper will discuss theresponses of the younger children (4. 6-8 years of age) to performance, theirgains in language and literacy skills, and their appreciation of making a per -formance. Principals, teachers and parents reported that children showedmore empathy and kindness to other children following live arts performanceand worked more collaboratively. Children were able to reflect on how theywould like to be involved in a performance and how they could use what theyhad learned.

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