Non-situated learning and the Arts

Sorin, Reesa (2006) Non-situated learning and the Arts. etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 5. pp. 1-5.

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It is the Christmas season in Cairns and the end of the school year. In art class, Grade 1 & 2 children are folding white square paper into eighths, then making careful cuts into the folds and around the edges. The end result – a snowflake to be displayed on the bulletin board. During music, children sing, “I'm dreaming of a White Christmas” and “Santa Claus is coming to Town.” Sprayed-on snow decorates the mural with the large red sleigh in which sits Santa Claus, decked in long red pants, a red jacket with white fur trim, tall black boots, a toque and scarf.

Having grown up on the Canadian prairies, I am familiar with snow, the commercial marketing of Christmas from the day after Halloween (a celebration only just beginning to come into its own in Australia) until the last of the Boxing Day sales, and the plethora of songs that portray Christmas as snow-filled and overseen by a fat man in a red snowsuit who rides an old fashioned sleigh from the North Pole. While I am not Christian and do not celebrate Christmas, the White Christmas indoctrination followed me to school and through the community for most of my life. Christmas or not, snow is inevitable on the prairies.

I remember as well learning songs in music class about jumbucks, swagmen and billabongs and wondering what on earth I was singing about. I knew what a kangaroo was – evening on the freezing prairies you can see kangaroos in the local zoos. But jumbucks? Swagmen? Billabongs? And somehow they waltzed – waltzes were something you learned in after school dancing lessons.

Item ID: 9468
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-2940
Keywords: arts-based learning; non-situated learning; early childhood education
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 04:32
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori) @ 25%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 100%
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