Playeum training and research session, Singapore

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Simon ran a training session with Dr Barbara Piscitelli and Dr Susan Wright in Singapore for Playeum. The session ‘Children. the Arts and Artists – New Thinking, New Practice” was for artists and art educators working with children in Singapore. Simon has been involved in Playeum for over eight years and both Victoria and Simon have presented with them in the past. This session was also followed by the first meeting of the Playuem International Research Network – intend to support Playeum to develop a research agenda assessing the value of arts and play engagements for children in Singapore.

Simon’s presentation topic was…

How can teaching artists most effectively make spaces where young children and their parents/carers can creatively engage with them and with others? From research undertaken while in my role as creative producer of ArtPlay in Melbourne I can illustrate the key factors for the construction of engaging spaces needed between artist and child to foster  the trust required for high-quality engagement. However, beyond these factors there are particular and more personal opportunities that can be skilfully evoked by the teaching artist. In this session we shall investigate how artists from all disciplines can create those spaces for themselves and their participants to move into a shared place of co-creation rather than instruction.  Within a discussion we can draw together and group key ingredients for the delivery of successful workshop programmes for under-6s where we can foster young children to be confident to express themselves authentically.  Frequently young children’s lives are closed down rather than opened up – this session asks how teaching artists can be  a critical factor in ensuring children remain active  “makers and doers” rather than developing into simply passive “watchers and listeners”.

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