“Authentic” Arts Teaching and Learning: An Investigation Into the Practices of Australian Home Educators

Katie Maree Burke, David Cleaver


Research into the ways that “authentic” arts teaching and learning are conducted in Australian home education contexts has not yet been undertaken. Given that home education is experiencing rapid growth and that many current global education reforms place emphasis on the arts as vital to creative futures, the development of deeper understanding is warranted. In order to address the shortfall, this paper reports on the first phase of a qualitative study that investigated the arts practices of 14 Australian home educators for the purpose of understanding the variety of ways that arts learning and teaching are incorporated in individual home education contexts. The study sought to identify the issues that participants experience when facilitating their children’s arts education, the specific strategies they adopt, and how arts teaching and learning approaches are adapted to the fluctuating needs and dynamics of their individual contexts. The paper begins by outlining home education as a unique and alternative pedagogical practice that differs from formal institutional learning, before unpacking the concept of authentic arts education. Details are presented that reveal the research process when interaction between participant and researcher combined to consider engagement with the arts and of associated challenges.


Home education, home schooling, arts education, creative arts


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