Artists connected with and built on children's everyday experiences

Artists did not assume that all valuable experiences and knowledge was to come from them. They were actively interested in the students and their world. They consistently worked to find out about the students, to build on their curiosities, passions and understandings.

Artists showed a continued and appreciative interest in community stories and funds of knowledge. This helped to create more porous borders between school and home knowledges.

They also had an appreciation of a wide variety of popular and youth cultures and they encouraged students to work with and from them. Very often this also meant challenging students to be critical of the ‘messages’ carried by popular and commercial arts and to use their own imaginations to extend and change familiar forms.

Artists were able to translate and re-imagine events, stories, characters in familiar settings. This validated and included students and their families in ways not generally found in mainstream curriculum approaches.

Video materials

A selection of videos from our Vimeo channel on using 'the texts of our lives' can be viewed below.