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Professional readings



A Culturally Responsive Pedagogy of Relations

Russell Bishop is Professor of Māori Education at the University of Waikato and director of Te Kotahitanga. Russell talks about the need to provide a classroom context where caring and learning relationships paramount to the educational performance of Maori students can be developed.

Ako - Senior Secondary Teaching and Learning Guides for the Arts

Examples of ako in arts classrooms. Ako involves reciprocal shared learning in the classroom and beyond.

Commedia History and Characters

A web-based resource covering Commedia history and characters.

Constructing Youth Engagement (PDF 197KB)

This Kansas report (26 pages) contains a review of literature regarding student engagement a list of indicators of engagement the kinds of techniques that artists use to engage students and reasons for why the arts engage students. Interview questions for artists and students are provided in the Appendix.

Craft in an Age of Change

A report confirms that Scotland’s craft makers continue to be optimistic and adaptable working within a sector that while changing remains healthy robust and contributes income of £70 million to the Scottish economy.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) provides free tools that let authors scientists artists and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

Dancing With Lions: (Per)forming Chinese Cultural Identity at a New Zealand Secondary School (PDF 786 KB)

This paper by Henry Johnson University of Otago considers how performing the Chinese Lion Dance at Macleans College contributed to the students’ ideas of cultural identity.

Disability and The Arts

An article about how Australians of many abilities enjoy and contribute to art forms such as dance theatre and the visual arts. Links to relevant online resources are provided.

Engaging Audiences

How can arts organizations build their audiences even in tough times? This report on a 2009 Wallace conference describes how some groups are persevering.

Engaging Boys in the Arts

An article that discusses the problem of the "missing males" in the arts. In studying the cause of this trend it discusses the construction of masculinity in the arts through societal forces including the media school influences peer expectations parental wishes teacher attitudes and texts. It also refers in detail to the nature of stereotypes that prevent boys from participating in the arts.

Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity And Growth

2015 Report by the Warwick Commission (University of Warwick) on the future of cultural value.

"Education and skills, along with talent development, are key levers for social and cultural change and are vital if we are to achieve the triple win of a more diverse and representative Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem, powering greater innovation and growth, and full participation by all in our cultural life." 

Evaluation in the Arts is Sheer Madness

Arts educators are either continually evaluating or they believe the important outcomes of their teaching defy systematic assessment. These and other assessment issues are raised as a means of initiating professional dialogue in contemporary arts assessment and the demands being placed upon the arts.

Find Out About Theatre - Stage Door

This site contains information on all aspects of the theatre: what makes a space a stage technical requirements for a dance floor types of backstage the Green Room people connected with the theatre (director lighting technician etc) sections of the stage.

Gifted & Talented Online

This New Zealand TKI site has a page for resources relating to The Arts and gifted students.

Guidelines for Publishing Student Work

These are New Zealand Ministry of Education guidelines for schools for the online publication of student images and schoolwork.

HOD Handbook - Secondary Drama

This site provides information to assist drama HODs with programme planning assessment productions resources and departmental policy and responsibilities. There are links to relevant sites including information on NCEA.

Home of Poi

A website which has some interesting information about poi to supplement what might be gained from other resources. Check out the links as well. Suitable for primary and/or secondary programmes.

How the Arts Impact Communities (PDF)

This paper prepared for the Taking the Measure of Culture Conference is by Joshua Guetzkow. In it he considers issues that need to be addressed when thinking about and studying how the arts impact communities and provides an introduction to the literature on arts impact studies. Published by Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies 2002.

How We've Got It Wrong About The Arts

"Art is like a capricious god, which has to be wooed and cajoled. It bestows its good effects as a gift; try to wrest that gift by force, as successive governments have tried to do, and the god will flee."   The full report referred to in his article - Understanding The Value of Arts and Culture by the Arts and Humanities Research Council is here:  http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/publications/cultural-value-project-final-report/  

ICT and Arts Education - A Literature Review (PDF 650KB)

This literature review was carried out by Merryn Dunmill and Azra Arslanagic of Te Puna Puoru National Centre for Research in Music Education and Sound Arts University of Canterbury in July 2006 for the New Zealand Ministry of Education. The review sought to find Australasian research (and research from other comparative education systems) on the positve impact of ICT on student achievement and teaching in the arts.

Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning

This summary of Wallace-commissioned research examines efforts to rebuild arts learning for American city children through the coordinated work of schools and other groups. It also explores how more and better arts education could boost demand for the arts.

Incredible India (PDF 1.6MB) (1.60 MB)

This 2007 report from Merryn Dunmill an Asia New Zealand Foundation "Linking Latitudes" conference delegate includes information about the Indian Arts Curriculum and state of education and society in the complex and diverse "many Indias" of today.

Integrated Arts Programme - Arizona

This video and accompanying materials describe and justify an arts-integration programme in primary schools. While the programme relies on visiting arts specialists in the classroom there are ideas and rubrics that could be adapted by generalists.

Intellectual Property in Technology Teaching

Although contextualised in the teaching and learning of Technology the case study materials confidentiality agreements and information about IP and student work on this site are useful and important considerations for arts contexts.

Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008 - 2012

Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008 - 2012 is the Ministry of Education's approach to improving the performance of the education system for and with Māori. It is a key aspect of having a quality education system where all students are succeeding and achieving.

Literacy Online

Literacy Online is the New Zealand site to help primary and secondary teachers develop teaching and learning programmes across all learning areas based on the literacy needs of their learners.

Manaakitanga - Senior Secondary Teaching and Learning Guides for the Arts

Examples of manaakitanga in arts classrooms. Mannaakitanga is about values of integrity trust sincerity and equity. Through manaakitanga the teacher and fellow students recognise and affirm the identity of each student in open and trusting relationships.

Mantle of the Expert

The site will be of relevance to teachers who might want to subscribe for news updates and information about cluster groups and workshops in the approach.

Mantle of the Expert Articles

This site has many interesting papers on Drama and the Mantle of the Expert. All articles are available as PDF files.

Mantle of the Expert.Com

This website is devoted to explaining Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert approach to learning across the curriculum through drama which is becoming widely accepted throughout the United Kingdom.


This large site covers general history of musicals dance in musicals how to put on a musical and much more.

Musicals for Children

Gary Daverne is a composer of a wide range of highly successful musicals for school age children. His site provides information useful to all schools.

National Drama Website - UK

The National Drama website is useful for reviews of texts publications other sites of interest links teacher resources and more.

New Zealand Arts Strategy

The Arts Strategy 2006-08 is underpinned by the objectives of the Schooling Strategy: Making a Bigger Difference for all Students (www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/schoolingstrategy). The strategy focuses on improved outcomes for teachers and students by ensuring all resources face to face and online support networks are cohesive and effective. It will build on the focused professional development offered to teachers through School Support Services and on published materials that have supported the implementation of The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum.

New Zealand Curriculum Resource Bank

This tool organises resources and information that support professional learning and leadership as schools implement The New Zealand Curriculum. There is a selection of resources for The Arts in this database.

New Zealand Disability Strategy

The New Zealand Disability Strategy's vision is of a society that highly values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people. It provides a framework to guide government agencies making policy and services impacting on disabled people. In taking the lead the Government will do everything possible to influence the attitudes and behaviour of society as a whole. By all New Zealanders considering issues facing people with disabilities and their aspirations New Zealand can become a fully inclusive society.

New Zealanders and the arts 2014 - Attitudes, attendance and participation in 2014

Creative New Zealand have recently published their findings after a three-year study looking at our attendance, attitudes and participation in the Arts. This three-yearly research began in 2005 and was repeated in 2008, 2011 and 2014. It delivers on-going information to the arts sector about New Zealanders’ level of involvement in, and attitudes towards, the arts.

Pacific Islands Music and Dance: A CyberGuide

This site was started as a project for the "Music of the Pacific Islands" course at the University of Michigan in Winter 2001.

Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017

The Pasifika Education Plan 2013 – 2017 (PEP) is aimed at raising Pasifika learners’ participation, engagement and achievement from early learning through to tertiary education.The PEP’s vision is to see ‘Five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages and cultures and contributing fully to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing'.

The PEP Implementation Plan 2013-2017 is an overview of the Ministry of Education and Education Partner Agencies’ programmes to achieve the goals and targets of the PEP. It includes the lead agencies, key contacts and links to more information on each programme.

Performing Arts Facilities in Schools

This site offers advice and guidance for schools developing new or improved facilities for dance drama and music programmes based on The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum.

Performing Arts Facilities in Schools: Theatres and Auditoriums

This section of the Performing Arts Facilities in Schools website looks at the pros and cons of schools building theatres and auditoriums. Includes ideas for making theatres curriculum-friendly and examples (with photos) of theatre-related facilities in a selection of New Zealand schools.

Performing Arts Facilities in Schools: Year 1-8 Drama Programme Needs

This section of the Performing Arts Facilities website provides information about the programme needs for drama in years 1-8. It looks at the benefits of both using general classrooms and separate teaching spaces for drama. Includes the features of specialised drama spaces.

Performing Arts Facilities in Schools: Year 1-8 Music Facilities

This section of the Performing Arts Facilities in Schools website discusses equipment and spaces needed for music teaching in years 1-8. Includes a look at performance spaces facilities that make teaching music easier for generalist teachers and specialist teaching spaces.

Performing Arts Facilities in Schools: Years 9-13 Drama Programme Needs

This section of the Performing Facilities in Schools website looks at the needs to consider when planning facilities for secondary school drama programmes. Includes basic requirements for drama teaching and information for schools developing comprehensive drama suites.

Promoting Creativity in Teaching Drama

This is written by Anna Lehtonen, Miia Kaasinen, Mirja Karjalainen-Vakeva and Tapio Toivanen for the Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Finland, the article provides an insightful appraisal from the widely-acknowledged and celebrated Finnish education system about the concepts of creativity and creative teaching (teaching creatively) in the drama education. The writers give some critique and recommendations around the importance of three key features of creative teaching in drama - improvisation, presence and student participation as lenses/considerations which can increase creativity in the drama classroom.

Promoting Success for Māori Students: ERO 2010 Schools’ Progress Report

This 2010 report evaluates how schools have promoted success for Māori students since ERO’s previous national report in 2006. The success of Māori students at school is a matter of national interest and priority. This 2010 ERO evaluation indicates that not all educators have yet recognised their professional responsibility to provide a learning environment that promotes success for Māori students.

Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future

This 2011 report sets out a series of strategies to achieve the over-arching conclusion from this 18-month study. To realise the potential of arts education the report argues for a seamless marriage of arts education strategies with overall educational goals. To accomplish this requires a dynamic collaboration between arts specialists classroom teachers and teaching artists to create creative environments that allow each child to reach his or her potential using all the tools available to reach and engage students in learning.

Reader's Theatre

On the Education Worldsite is useful discussion about Reader's Theatre. This discussion gives advice about which texts and why and gives links to other resource sites on the same topic.

Revitalising Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination

In this Wallace-commissioned study RAND researchers describe initiatives in six American cities to reverse a long decline in arts education by coordinating the work of city agencies arts institutions schools and others. These “coordinated efforts” are fragile RAND concludes but show some promise in making more and better arts education available to more city children.

Secondary Education Portal

Information resources and guidance to support secondary teaching and learning.

Story Myth Dream and Drama

This book by Helena Sheehan is accessible entirely on line. The first chapter looks at what a story is the place of story in our lives particularly myth and what drama is. Following chapters look at TV as a Medium of Drama Criteria for Judging TV Drama and TV as a Medium for Drama. Particularly applicable to the curriculum strand Understanding Drama in Context.

Student Learning in The Arts: Like Writing off the Paper

Ministry of Education research into student learning in the arts and effective arts discipline teaching in New Zealand schools.

Success for Boys

This New Zealand Ministry of Education website is intended to help teachers build on existing practice to create opportunities for all boys to succeed.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa the new Māori curriculum document has been distributed to all Māori-medium schools. The document was launched on 26 September 2008. Explore the online community for Te Kaupapa Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The Contributions of Learning in the Arts. Part 1: A Review of the Literature

This review of international and New Zealand literature explores the arguments made and evidence for the contribution of participation and/or formal learning in arts disciplines to educational social/cultural and economic outcomes with a key focus on school-aged learners.

The Contributions of Learning in the Arts. Part 2: A Synthesis

This was the second stage of a two-part project carried out for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. The first part comprised a review of New Zealand and international research on the impacts and outcomes of arts learning on a range of educational social economic and other outcomes with a focus on school-aged learners (Bolstad 2010). This synthesis draws and expands on Part 1.

The History of Commedia

An interesting background article on Commedia.

The Impact of Effective Facilitation on Teaching and Learning in the Arts

This multi-method evaluation investigates the effectiveness of professional development facilitation processes and structures in the arts. The research was carried out during 2005. There is discussion about the impact of the professional development on teachers' knowledge and student achievement in Auckland and Northland regions.

The Impact of the NCEA on Student Motivation

This final report (June 2006) by Victoria University presents results of research carried out for the Ministry of Education. It presents key findings consistent with existing motivation theory and research but also reveals issues specific to NCEA of relevance to school efforts to maximise student motivation and achievement.

The Independence of Government Arts Funding: A Review

Written by Christopher Madden this 2009 report presents a global perspective on independence in government arts support exploring issues such as the ‘arm’s length principle’ and the ‘arts council versus ministry’ debate. It explores arts policy models and frameworks through a neutral lens surveying the incidence of different approaches around the world and summarising expert opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of the main approaches.

The Puppetry Home Page

This site has a great deal of information about types of puppets history of puppets puppetry traditions around the world using puppetry and more.

The Qualities of Quality – Understanding Excellence in Arts Education

Written by Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, Ellen Winner, Lois Hetland and Patricia Palmer, it is based on a study conducted in the US during 2006-2007 by Project Zero, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and published at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – the home of Project Zero.

The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education

Researchers at Harvard’s Project Zero explore the qualities of good K-12 arts programmes and conclude they go beyond “best practices” to include consideration of the goals of arts education such as aesthetic awareness and personal growth.

The Tate Movie Project

The Tate Movie Project is an animated film made by and for children. The Tate Movie Project is a uniquely ambitious project using great artworks to inspire 5-13 year olds to contribute their ideas to an animated movie.

Theatre History on the Web

This site provides links to a wide variety of sites providing the history of theatre.

Theatre of the Absurd - Introduction

This site has an article called Theatre of the Absurd with many links to key aspects of the form. The article is concise and easily read as a background introduction to the topic.

Theatre of the Oppressed

A website that briefly looks at Augusto Boal and his work in Theatre of the Oppressed. It outlines techniques used in the work.


This site is a comprehensive and well organised collection of reviews of New Zealand theatre productions from the media that can be accessed by play title and go back a number of years. It is especially useful to NCEA students who are preparing answers on live production viewing for the external standards. It gives easy access access to what professional reviewers have said about plays the students have been to.

Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi website provides a great deal of information. There are all sorts of very good drama pre-texts here. ‘Quotes’ – what were people saying about the events surrounding the treaty? 128 biographies of key people in treaty history booklets case studies and a timeline.

Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners

Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners is a new resource explaining the progression of the competencies teachers need to develop so they can help Māori learners achieve educationally as Māori. Tātaiako has been developed to help all educators think about what it takes to successfully teach Māori learners. It provides a guide to the development of cultural competence for teachers themselves for their employers and for Initial Teacher Education providers and providers of on-going teacher professional development.

UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education

This document is designed to promote a common understanding among all stakeholders of the importance of Arts Education and its essential role in improving the quality of education. It endeavours to define concepts and identify good practices in the field of Arts Education. In terms of its practical aspects it is meant to serve as an evolving reference document which outlines concrete changes and steps required to introduce or promote Arts Education in educational settings (formal and non-formal) and to establish a solid framework for future decisions and actions in this field.

Using Drama and Theatre To Promote Literacy Development

This reading recognises that drama is crucial to early literacy development because it changes reading and writing into holistic and meaningful communication processes. It also acknowledges that the mental requirements for drama are similar to those for reading. It broadens out these statements and gives examples of how literacy and drama can walk hand in hand.

Western Social Dance

This site is for teacher reference. It gives instructions and clips on a variety of historical western social dances from the late middle ages through to the beginning of the twentieth century. It includes dances such as the Galliard and the Pavane. It would be useful for dance teachers music teachers and for drama teachers who want to include dance in period productions.

Where are the Margot Fonteyns? - Safe Touch in Dance

Jeffery Taylor former dancer turned dance critic says PC attitudes towards touching children are ruining British ballet. Pertinent to Drama and Music instrumental and vocal tuition as well.


Are you a Visual thinker?

Changing Assessment : How four simple words can solve education’s biggest problem

A TED talk by Mark Barnes discussing approaches to assessment and how to include the student voice in a ‘beautiful conversation’. 

Creative Confidence

David Kelly - building creative confidence universally beneficial and increases the appreciation for creative thinking (he did a TED talk about this too).

Do you have a wandering mind?

How Colour Blindness Might Affect an Art Student

How we teach the arts is as important as the fact we're doing it

Michael Rosen shares his checklist for how teachers can ensure that arts education is worthwhile for all students.

New Zealanders and the arts 2014 - Attitudes, attendance and participation in 2014

Creative New Zealand have recently published their findings after a three-year study looking at our attendance, attitudes and participation in the Arts. This three-yearly research began in 2005 and was repeated in 2008, 2011 and 2014. It delivers on-going information to the arts sector about New Zealanders’ level of involvement in, and attitudes towards, the arts.

Teacher Toolkit - 5 Minute Wellbeing Plan

Devised for 'guilty teachers' to manage work/life balance. 

Teacher Toolkit - 5 Miunute Workload Plan

The Qualities of Quality – Understanding Excellence in Arts Education

Written by Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, Ellen Winner, Lois Hetland and Patricia Palmer, it is based on a study conducted in the US during 2006-2007 by Project Zero, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation and published at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – the home of Project Zero.

Visual Thinking Improves Writing

Encouraging writing through 'life journals' comic strips and drawing. 

Why do we keep creative people out of leadership roles?

Creatives as leaders - short article by David Burkus.

Why Med Schools are Requiring Art Classes

An article about the relationship between the arts, clinical observation and maintaining empathy in the medical profession. 

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