Primary schools’ arts education programmes in Australia, the United States of America and United Kingdom are under pressure from a combination of an expanded curriculum, national testing, and lack of curriculum support. Garvis and Pendergast (2010) came to the conclusion the arts were becoming marginalised, following the introduction of a national assessment programme in Australia. Barnes and Shirley (2007) recognised that the arts in primary schools in the UK suffered after the government pushed for a rise in literacy and numeracy standards in 1997. In the US, a study of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy’s impact on art education concluded the policy had a negative effect on school art education programmes (Sabol, 2010). New Zealand primary schools are facing a similar challenge. Using data from two New Zealand studies, this paper examines the role played by cultural centres in supporting teaching and learning within local primary schools. Comparing analysed data from both studies this paper examines the dynamic relationship between cultural centres and primary schools. Using the model of communities of practice as described by Lave and Wenger (1991), the purpose of this paper is to shed light on the impact of cultural centres and their educators on teaching and learning.
|Keywords:||Cultural Centres, Arts Education, Communities of Practice|
Lecturer: Visual Art, School of Education Policy and Implementation, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand