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Enrich your teaching with the arts

Professor Judith McLean

A message from QPAC’s Scholar in Residence

Recently I received a rebound gift...my library of drama books from earlier teaching days. I’d given them to a friend who no-longer needed them. It was a welcome re-gift and I felt great pleasure thumbing through yellowing pages of wisdom – play scripts, drama and arts education theory, costume and scenery books, poetry anthologies and voice training manuals. I realised I was holding in my hands actual treasures which had shaped my life as an arts teacher and mother and friend &&&...

I recalled with excitement encountering for the first time insights of some of the greats – Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Brecht, Beckett, Dario Fo, and the more contemporary voices of Carol Churchill, Ray Lawler, and David Williamson. Their ideas, their views on how to live an ‘examined life’ are filtered into my life’s purpose, values and principles.

Sitting unpacking the weathered and well read books, I marvelled at how fortunate those of us are who are arts literate. As teachers of the arts we've learnt in and through arts education how to read for more than narrative. Nowhere is this more evident than when we bring students to live performance and witness the unfolding sense of something greater than they’ve encountered so far in their own lives. Whether it’s a piece of music, an image, a characterisation, a dance sequence, if it resonates with the student it is experienced through the senses (aesthetic) and lays down a memory that is never lost. We look forward to welcoming you when you’re next at QPAC.

Professor Judith McLean
QPAC Scholar in Residence
Chair in Arts Education (QUT/QPAC)