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Global learning to shape rural and regional arts education

2 min read
24 Nov 2022
lady smiling in the trees
Dr Barton said arts education was continuously undergoing cuts in all areas, but its loss was particularly acute outside of metropolitan areas.

University of Southern Queensland’s Georgina Barton will learn from global colleagues in arts leadership to help shape a new program to teach the arts and literacy to Australian students.

The professor of literacies and pedagogy is one of 60 people from across the world chosen to take part in the 2023 Global Leaders Program.

The executive MBA in Arts Innovation program melds arts entrepreneurship with social justice and education to develop music and arts programs that specifically help vulnerable or under-supported communities.

The 2023 cohort will learn from lecturers from global institutions including Harvard University and The Julliard School.

As part of the program, Dr Barton is continuing her work exploring the interplay between arts and literacy and how teaching the two disciplines together can help lift skills in both areas as well as student’s wellbeing.

Throughout the next six months, she will utilise the MBA to refine a program that supports rural and regional students in Australia to access arts and literacy education.

She said arts education was continuously undergoing cuts in all areas, but its loss was particularly acute outside of metropolitan areas.

Her research explores the benefits of combining education in creative fields with traditional literacy.

“The arts can really teach us a lot about effective communication,” she said.

“Literacy research and practice can help us to view the arts in diverse ways.”

It comes as her new book on aesthetic literacies in schools and workplaces is set to be released on December 22.

The book explores how studying beauty can be transformative for young people’s development, particularly in the wake of challenging society-wide periods such as the coronavirus pandemic.

“Learning about aesthetics can enable a more compassionate and caring attitude towards each other and our earth,” she said.

“Having beauty in children’s and young people’s lives is now more important than ever”.

In one recent project exploring aesthetics, art and literacy, students intertwined language and visual art to create Insta-poetry.

“Having opportunities to respond to art through different expressive practices, such as poetry, can be empowering for vulnerable students”.

The Global Leaders Program will culminate in an immersive training program in Italy in June 2023.