Volume 17 Number 29 November 17, 2016

Teaching the Arts Across the Curriculum: Meanings, Policy and Practice

Ralph Buck
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Barbara Snook
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Citation: Buck, R., & Snook, B. (2016). Teaching the arts across the curriculum: Meanings, policy and practice. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17(29). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v17n29/.


As arts educators, we are concerned that the teaching and learning of the arts is remaining static within New Zealand primary school classrooms. Despite acceptance of research promoting the importance of arts education for students; a clear and valued arts curriculum in New Zealand since 2000; and, UNESCO policy strongly advocating for the role of arts education, there remains a relatively minimal implementation of arts education in New Zealand primary classrooms. Our research examines a proposition that in order to provide the benefits of an arts education to children in what is a crowded curriculum, generalist teachers may need to focus on teaching the arts across the curriculum. Informing this proposal is the ongoing government policy focus on literacy and numeracy. This article documents a research project that examined how the arts were and were not being taught across the curriculum by one teacher in one primary school in New Zealand.

Visual Abstract

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