Our Practice in Schools

Research by independent experts into Western Edge Youth Arts reveals major social and educational impacts are achieved through our programs.

“WEYA’s education programs lead to high quality outcomes and attitudinal changes to learning.” Professor Robyn Ewing, The University of Sydney

“Programs provided an experience of success and achievement for young people who rarely have such experiences.” –  Australia Council for Education Research

We work from an extended school residency model using a sophisticated research-based arts pedagogy that combines artistic excellence with deep learning. We work in collaborative partnerships with schools and have specialist teaching artists who know how to engage young people in learning through the arts.

Our programs include a range of models delivering different outcomes for schools, including curriculum delivery, especially literacy and engagement programs based on young people’s stories, and interactive performances for schools by the Edge Ensemble exploring challenging issues like racism and male violence through applied theatre.

Our education projects lead to attitudinal changes to learning and there is evidence that the young people are more aware of the social and moral complexities associated with the enacted stories that they create and perform to their peers and their communities. Our published research explores some of these deeper learning dimensions of our practice:

“This article argues that, through the act of translating myth into dramatic narrative and poetic writing, the children started to understand and express the deeper symbolism of the mythological narrative. Through this process, young people started to develop a critical awareness of mythology as a vehicle for generating contemporary meanings.” – From the abstract of Mythological Translations: Drama, Poetry and the Language of Myth by Dave Kelman and Jane Rafe