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The Y-Connect Project: Using Arts partnerships and pedagogies to create connections and expand horizons

This panel reports on findings from the Y-Connect project, a three-year collaboration between researchers from Griffith University, the staff and students of a culturally diverse Brisbane state high school, several arts organisations and a group of independent artists

This panel reports on findings from the Y-Connect project, a three-year collaboration between researchers from Griffith University, the staff and students of a culturally diverse Brisbane state high school, several arts organisations and a group of independent artists. The project, which involves six extended and exploratory case studies, examines the impact on young people when artists, arts-based pedagogies and partnerships with arts organisations are employed. In this presentation we will focus on just two of the cases: 1) the overarching impact on belonging and connectedness, and 2) the impact on teaching and learning in Arts classrooms. Emerging themes suggest that the tyranny of distance (between students and students, students and teachers, students and the community, and students and the Arts industry) is lessening as students begin to feel a stronger sense of belonging and connectedness. In addition, horizons of expectation are also being expanded as the young people’s pathway perceptions begin to broaden and they identify new “possible selves”.

Julie Dunn, Penny Bundy, Linda Hassall and Natalie Lazaroo:
Researchers and educators in the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University. Between them they have published extensively in the fields of drama education, applied and contemporary theatre, and are nationally and internationally recognized for their innovative research.


Adrianne Jones and Sanaz 
Hamoonpou:
Teachers at Yeronga SHS, and are also co-researchers on the Y-Connect Project. Adrianne is the Project Manager. This team has come together to collaborate on this exciting longitudinal study funded by the Queensland Government through its Collaborative Innovation Fund.

Chris Blois-Brooke (Founder & Director)
An Applied Theatre Practitioner with experience in international Drama Education, Community Theatre and Theatre for Development, Chris’ ongoing research interests centre around the documentation of Community Performance practice for the purposes of monitoring & evaluation, advocacy and training. Recent projects include facilitating participatory documentation of Community Circus, Dance, Theatre and Storytelling practice in Ethiopia, South Africa and Zambia, documenting large conferences around the world, as well as conducting Impact Assessment studies for organisations in the UK and USA. His other work includes Arts-based Curriculum Development consultancy, as well as authoring other Evaluative Research projects.