This unit, Abstractable Me, comprises 8 x 45–60 minute lessons and one full-day excursion to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane. Additional time is allowed to complete the supporting literacy tasks embedded in the lessons.
The school and teacher
The package took place in a state school in a low socio-economic and culturally diverse community approximately 40 kilometres from Brisbane. The school has a population of around 600 students from Prep to Year 7. The school is a Federal Government National Partnership Agreement (NPA) school, indicating that students' literacy and numeracy levels are substantially below the national average. The school is culturally diverse, with approximately 22% of students identifying with Indigenous cultural heritage. This is the largest percentage for any primary school in south-east Queensland. The school has a significantly high number of students from the Pacific Islands, and a large number of students who are growing up in poverty. The school receives additional funding through the NPA to implement initiatives to enhance students' literacy and numeracy standards.
The arts teacher, who contributed to this package, is employed full-time in the school, and is responsible for teaching drama, dance, media arts and visual arts from Prep to Year 7. The arts teacher described himself as proficient in most of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Standards for Teachers. He has worked as a generalist primary teacher at this and other schools, and has been the arts teacher at the current school for three years.
The package was implemented in one of the school’s Year 5 classes over eight weeks in terms 3 and 4, 2012.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) content descriptions
Abstractable Me targets content descriptions for Band 5–6 of ACARA's Australian Curriculum: The Arts in both the organising strands of Making and Responding. The cross-curriculum priority identified by ACARA most applicable to this package is Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, particularly through the extension activities outlined.
Students work with the general capabilities of:
Critical and creative thinking (problem-solving through the use of a variety of media, creativity, rendering images of self and others)
Literacy (written and oral communication, multi-modal language use).
Based on Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting (ACARA) materials
The unit addresses the AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers (1–5) by ensuring that teachers know:
their students and how they learn
the content and how to teach it
how to plan and implement effective teaching
how to encourage learning in a supportive and safe environment
how to assess student progress.
Teachers may also collaborate with colleagues and/or the community (Standard 7).