A UQ student will present the results of a business project aimed at strengthening Queensland school student participation in ballet at the Australian Association for Research and Education Conference in Melbourne this week.
Third year law and commerce student Georgia Roy will present the findings and recommendations of the research project she and five colleagues undertook for Queensland Ballet under the UQ Faculty of Business Economics and Law Community Engagement Program (CEP).
CEP is offered by the faculty’s award-winning Student Employability Team, providing students with the opportunity to voluntarily deliver projects to community organisations to help them achieve their goals.
Ms Roy, the team leader, will be co-presenting with Queensland Ballet at the national conference, attended by education academics from around the world.
“Queensland Ballet is very active in the education sector and many schools offer dance programs,” she said.
“Our brief was to provide recommendations on ways Queensland Ballet could better support Queensland educators to teach ballet in the classroom.
“We ran student focus groups to identify perceptions and barriers, surveyed and interviewed teachers about the relationship between Queensland Ballet and schools and identified further resources to strengthen teachers’ confidence in delivering ballet activities that meet curriculum requirements.”
The team’s recommendations included: promoting ballet as a physically strenuous art form to better engage boys, establishing an online resource portal for teachers and setting up an online discussion group for arts teachers – particularly those in rural and remote areas - to share ideas and support each other.
“Queensland Ballet already has a great education program and through our research we provided ideas and perspectives they hadn’t thought of,” Ms Roy said.
Although the project wasn’t directly related to her studies, she said it provided invaluable industry and leadership experience and was personally rewarding as she had participated in ballet during her school years and was passionate about ensuring it was accessible to the next generation.
“I’d like to thank my team mates Beliz Ozturk, Kieu My Tran, Sarah Bradley, Trishma Reddy and Madeline O’Neill as well as Cass Vickers who runs the CEP program for being so supportive,” she said.
“It was demanding but I encourage other students participate in the program; it’s very worthwhile.”
CEP program manager Cassandra Vickers said it was a testament to the quality of the students’ work that Queensland Ballet invited Georgia to co-present the team’s work at the prestigious international conference.
“The team was highly commended for their work and Georgia received an award for the best individual performance at our awards ceremony last semester,” she said.
Queensland Ballet Education and Engagement Director Felicity Mandile said the CEP program provided a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the organisation’s Ambassador Program for Practising Teachers (APPT).
“The UQ students’ research reinforced much of what we know about the current education climate and we’re excited to present this value research at the conference,” she said.
“Major performing arts companies work hard to outreach in this area and our APPT is one way we develop strong relationships between industry and education.
“Great links between our sectors can provide children with a range of skills relevant for life-long learning, but more than that, we know ballet enriches lives.”
The TC Beirne School of Law and UQ Business School supported Georgia’s transport, accommodation and attendance.