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Whanaungatanga involves relationships (between students, school-wide, and with the community) based on high expectations.

Whaia te iti kahuranga ki te tuahu koe me he maunga teitei.

Aim for the highest cloud so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain.

To promote whanaungatanga, arts teachers communicate a belief in the capacity of all students as learners and achievers. Teachers and students share work, successes, and challenges. They celebrate diverse abilities and individual excellence.

By empowering students to believe in their aspirations and goals, arts teachers can support students in their ambitions for further study and pathways to a career in the arts and enthuse them to participate in the wider communities.

Example: Dance

Dance necessitates a high-trust environment.

For example, discuss assessment result totals openly with the class and express a belief in their ability to raise achievement collectively. Have the students set goals for the next assessment.

Determine goals that specify how many students will reach each achievement level with the aim of lifting the “bottom line”.

Constantly verbalise to students a belief in their ability to meet simple, achievable, and measurable (SAM) steps in their learning.

Give students a clear goal or intention for each lesson (keeping it within reach) and have the students themselves suggest what steps (individually or in their working groups) they could take during the lesson to ensure that expectation is reached.

Example: Visual arts

Teachers communicate an expectation that their students are capable learners who will produce high quality work by providing them with opportunities to excel and to show off their art works to a range of audiences.

By sharing their work with their peers, whānau, and local and international communities, students learn to value what they have to communicate as artists and meet the explicit expectation that what they present will be of high quality. Such opportunities also allow for successes to be acknowledged.

For example, the students (either as individuals or in collaborative groups):

  • identify a theme for an exhibition in consultation with the school community
  • negotiate a particular idea, purpose, and context for the exhibition, for example, giving attention to or raising the profile of a particular local or global issues such as "Street art as a social mediator" or "Social networking through the arts"
  • negotiate a time for the exhibition and consider how the works will be viewed and evaluated in relation to the purpose (work aligned to curriculum programmes and achievement outcomes)
  • present their works in an online gallery that can be viewed by a global audience
  • seek feedback and opportunities for collaboration.

Students could also participate in exhibition projects like Oi YOU! through which they can exhibit alongside noted international artists.

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Alternatively, students could work with a local not-for-profit organisation to design the advertising for an event or campaign. For example, the Hamilton Poetry Group commissioned students from a local school to design the fliers promoting National Poetry Day.

Example: Art history

Focus on individual learning pathways for students.

Discuss goals for the year and the future, and locate art history within the context of the learning journey.

Make it real and authentic, for example, find former students who are willing to talk to your class about their career paths and work experience.

Ask students who have gone overseas for a GAP year to share how they achieved or managed this.

Find out what parents/whānau do and invite them to talk to the class.

Talk about career roles associated with galleries, art, design, architecture and fashion. Highlight interesting lives of artists – not just the well-known examples, but particularly younger artists.

Talk to students, find out their interests, and extrapolate on how they might combine academic and outside interests, such as language, art, and politics.

Remind students that not all jobs and possibilities have a career name and that opportunities exist in a variety of unexpected places.

Explain how funding, prizes, residencies, and fellowships exist for young and emerging artists to establish careers, as most students cannot see the bridge between school, art school, and career.

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Last updated June 11, 2024