This thesis documents the investigation of the implementation and development of a creative arts program, situated within a school environment of both physical and philosophical transformation. In conjunction with an extensive building program, major changes to the school’s physical learning environments were reflected in pedagogical changes which incorporated an adoption of the Quality Teaching framework, as well as those relevant to 21st century educational thought. Observation, individual and focus group interviews were carried out by the creative arts teacher-researcher. The analysis of material culture and documents provided data for this ethnographic case study.
Physical aspects of the learning environment were explored, and found to affect not only students’ learning experiences and engagement, but also their comfort and ownership of the creative arts program. Further investigation into the learning environment considered the creative arts program in relation to the Quality Learning Environment dimension of Quality Teaching, documenting evidence of each of the elements therein. Varying degrees of student engagement, an important element, were evidenced within the program. Attempts to incorporate features of the insider classroom were hindered by a number of classroom relocations. However, its pertinence to both creative arts and to 21st century education was noted.
Accommodation of the creative arts program within an open learning space resulted in major changes to both content and practice. These changes included the incorporation of higher order thinking skills and the utilisation of technology within the program, as well as significant changes in the role of the teacher.