ABS063 - Becoming Other: transforming the social situation of development for young people deemed at risk of school exclusion through arts based interventions
3:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Convention Center - 205 B
This paper focuses on the effects of arts-based interventions for young people deemed at risk of school exclusion because of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Vygotsky’s concept of the social situation of development is used to provide an analysis of disengaged young people’s experiences of participating in arts programmes designed to re-engage young people in education. Using a range of qualitative methods, including observations and interviews, the study explored the potential for creative arts interventions to transform young people’s (aged 11-16) social situations of development and, in so doing, effect changes in behaviour and way of being. The findings suggest that the intervention that the arts organisation offered these young people alternatives to their personal, cultural and historical ways of experiencing the world. In ‘becoming other’ as an artist, experimenting with different art media and trying out creative ideas within a safe environment, the young people chose to try out becoming a different version of themselves. This process of adopting a new identity in becoming an artist involved experimenting through trying something new, getting constructive feedback, and internalising the process. The introduction of an element of socialised play into the curriculum through creative arts interventions helped these young people to negotiate the crisis of a social situation of development. These findings suggest that imagination, invoked through the social situation of play, can help disengaged young people to change their perceptions about the imagined worlds of the future.