Enhancing Student Learning by using Visual Arts to Effectively Remove Stress and Anxiety in the Classroom

Presented by: Rob O’Brien

Teacher PD Event Information: 6 Teacher PD Hours       

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The demands of a packed curriculum can cause stress and or anxiety for some students and indeed, for some teachers.

Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of classroom colouring activity for test anxiety in children and how this has contributed to better learning outcomes and better test results (Journal of Applied School Psychology 2016). Art therapy is becoming common in schools but not all schools can access this valuable resource.

Although this workshop is not art therapy as such, it will give classroom teachers to:

  • Increase student attention
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Impact student well-being
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, particularly as it relates to tests, exams and assignments
  • Improve learning outcomes

The research suggests that while the art making process is challenging, it provides an opportunity to be absorbed in an achievable activity by using the right hemisphere of the brain. Sir Ken Robinson believes ‘creativity in classrooms is just
as important as literacy!’

This workshop will support teachers:

  • Understand how making art can tap into a student’s brain to help regulate emotions, manage behaviours, strengthen relationships and reduce stress and anxiety
  • Learn to apply techniques that increases student attention in classrooms resulting from making art
  • Understand how structured versus unstructured art making impacts anxiety within gender differences
  • Adapt visual art making activities to student’s individual differences
  • Use simple materials for making art – particularly prior to (perceived) stress inducing activities like tests – even weekly spelling tests!

Participants will gain first-hand experience of art making easily transferrable to primary and secondary classroom settings.

Please being to the workshop:

  • Two sheets of cartridge paper (or drawing block)
  • Two sheets of black matte paper (A4 size or larger)
  • Coloured pencils
  • Pack of textas with your favourite colours

Event Details:

  6th November, 2017
  9.30am - 3.30pm (Reg. from 8.30am)

New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites
73 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane QLD

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  Target Audience: Teachers / Teacher Assistants Primary / Secondary -all levels
  $306.90 GST Incl.

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About the Presenter

Rob O’Brien is a primary and secondary teacher and an artist. His M Ed included working with marginalised youth in multiple settings using art making to create transformational change impacting better mental health, well-being and engagement in learning. Rob has worked on youth programs in Australia and the USA with visual artists, Mexican mural artist, writers, experimental poet and performing arts personnel focusing on social, cultural and learning challenges experienced by children and adolescents. Rob’s experience includes using visual art with school staff to develop policy. His work in classrooms with students making to help higher order thinking, improved attention and better learning outcomes is highly sought. Rob is a facilitator of mindfulness with visual art.

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