Moments of becoming: experiences of embodied connection to place in arts-based service learning in Australia
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This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education on 20/01/2015 available online at <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1359866X.2014.960801">http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1359866X.2014.960801</a>
The experience of place in arts-based service learning (ABSL) is personal. It can be difficult to define and challenging to share and build upon. This paper, reporting from a national ABSL project involving three Australian universities, is concerned with experiences of place in forming professional teacher identity. Using a narrative methodology in presenting the stories of six people, pre-service teachers and Indigenous community members, the paper draws on a number of different theoretical frameworks to explore each participant’s experience and its longer-term impact on their thinking. The participant stories revealed the value of spaces between art-making, teaching, and research. The learning experiences led pre-service teachers to reflect deeply in relation to self and to consider the impact of their experiences on both current and future professional interactions. As anticipated, participants found it difficult to communicate these elemental experiences in the written word. The findings have implications for the value of flexible and critical service-learning approaches, particularly in diverse cultural contexts.
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