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Bridging healing and learning through the expressive arts to transform classrooms into healing spaces

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In today’s global climate, concern over the dangers posed to children and societies caused by man-made and natural calamities is widespread. The United Nations reports tens of millions of children exposed to conflicts and disasters each year, not including those affected by trauma from neglect, abuse and human trafficking. The impact of these adversities on children urgently calls for evidence and guidance on what promotes their recovery and healing, and what type of environments (resettlement areas, schools, homes) help to mitigate risk and offer them a sense of security. This article presents adaptations of expressive arts, play-based psychosocial support programmes implemented by two international non-profits. It details how classrooms can be transformative and offer a sense of permanence, constancy and wellness for children in crisis situations. It focuses on bridging healing and learning through arts integration in schools and a description of the essential components of the programmes.
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Keywords: art in disaster relief; art-based teacher training; bridging healing and learning; expressive arts in education; healing classrooms; psychosocial support

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MAGIS Creative Spaces Inc

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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