ACU’s Dr Gillian Schroeter takes students through creative journey
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > ACU’s Dr Gillian Schroeter guides education students through a creative journey

ACU’s Dr Gillian Schroeter guides education students through a creative journey

by Freya Lucas

May 29, 2023
Dr Gillian Schroeter supports teacher growth

For Dr Gillian Schroeter, a lecturer in the School of Education at the Ballarat campus of the Australian Catholic University (ACU), the creative arts are a passion, and a core component of the legacy she hopes to pass on to the would be early childhood and primary teachers in her classes. 


“Tomorrow’s teachers are an incredible group of young people, who absolutely restore my faith in humanity every day,” she shared. 


Part of their bravery recently involved creating a variety of different art mediums including sculpture, painting, clay work and performance at a recent exhibition. 


“Even the students who had a real fear of participating in one of the art forms, were willing to let me know and show up,” she said. “These young people know how important creativity is. Our teachers of tomorrow will be the teachers of the generations who invent and create a future that we all need.”


For this group of students, it was their first time presenting an exhibition. Through participation in the exhibition experience, Dr Schroeter hopes that the students will come away with the experience of what it is like to feel like an artist, and to feel celebrated in their creativity. 


“There is also the practical side of things,” she continued, “that they experience how to run an exhibition for their future students.”


In a time of artificial intelligence (AI) some social commentators have expressed concerns about “the robots” now becoming the poets and the painters, and that creativity, as we have traditionally known it, is simply now an amalgam of the ideas of others… that there is nothing new to create. 


Against that backdrop, Dr Schroeter believes that it is incredibly important that educators have strong backgrounds in the Arts if they are to support the next generation to come up with new creations and much needed ideas to solve the problems of the past.


“A.I is just that it can create and rehash what has already been created. Only humanity can create new art…Create new ideas and ways,” she said. 


“All of humanity’s language is in the Arts. If you want to find out about a past civilisation, it is through the remnants of the Arts left behind. Teachers already practicing will be aware that young children speak through the Arts. It is important as teachers of young children that we foster our inner artist.”


For those who are keen to reconnect with their inner artist, her advice is simple – “We only need to find what it is that we love to create and do that. It may be sewing, like Jem Olsen, our Textile Artist who spoke at the Exhibition on 22 May. It could be cooking, or gardening, or really anything we do that requires us to create is the best way for us to connect to our inner artists.”


To learn more about Bachelor of Education courses with ACU please see here

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