In a first for Malta and international research in early years' education, Ms Balzan got the idea for her thesis in 2013 after Gaia Cauchi won the Junior Eurovision contest held in Kyiv, Ukraine and brought victory to Malta.
"Malta was so enthusiastic about hosting this contest, and as an early years teacher I wanted to investigate how my students could have their learning in class enhanced by Junior Eurovision and its content," Ms Balzan says.
Through studying the twelve Junior Eurovision winning songs, Joanna found that many creative elements could be used as teaching tools for children. These songs appealed to children creatively and could be used critically as interpretation methods for painting, colour recognition, linguistic skills and story-telling as well as highlight values such as multiculturalism and working together.
Ms Balzan’s thesis forms a crucial part of the 'Multimodality in Practice' research project series coordinated by Dr George Cremona who lectures within the Department of Arts and Lnaguages in Education at the University of Malta.
"This is the first time in Malta that a practical study has been undertaken on how the Junior Eurovision Song Contest or Eurovision could help young students enhance their social and creative ways of learning, I am very sure this is just The Start," Dr Cremona said.
Dr Cremona is also well known in Malta and in the media for his knowledge and love for all things Eurovision.