Vol. 10 No. 1 (2014)
Kindergarten and school as a learning environment for art
Saila Nevanen, Antti Juvonen and Heikki Ruismäki
This article focuses on kindergartens and schools as art educational environments. They were explored from three points of view: the physical environment, the social environment and the pedagogical environment created by the thinking and activities of teachers and artists. A multidimensional evaluation is used to analyse the data. (Interviews of artists and teachers (n=18), final reports (n=9), follow-up material from an art project in Helsinki beginning in 2000.) The project targeted children in kindergarten (3–6 years old) and in the first grades in school (7-9 years old) and included visual art, environmental art, literary art, drama, circus and architectural elements. School, kindergarten and the immediate surroundings offered an opportunity for a diversified cooperative achievement. The children proved to be skilful and significant members of society in carrying out their art projects.
Beginning with concept: Deconstructing the complexity of ‘culture’ through art in design education
The notion of ‘culture’ has long been recognized as an inherent component of both art and design education. What remains uncharted territory are ways by which educators can assess a student’s understanding of the complexity behind the production of ‘culture’. Contextualizing current pedagogical approaches within anthropological and interdisciplinary theoretical paradigms sheds light on the limitations of present undertakings. Static and stereotypical interpretations of ‘culture’ fail to account for the complex, multi-dimensional, hybrid, dynamic, intertwining, and ever-changing facets of ‘culture’ that characterize border crossings and modernization processes. This paper posits that concepts, an artistic synthesis of knowledge, can be the medium through which students can unravel the myth of ‘culture’ and expose its dynamic and changing nature, the tensions and contradictions involved, as well as the multiple ways of belonging. Marking the beginning of the design process, concepts that speak of ‘culture’ can propel a new era in infusing designs with social justice.
Education through digital art about art
Anders Marner and Hans Örtegren
Four schools’ environments have been selected where paraphrases in art is a common denominator as a choice during secondary school. In this study, comparisons are made between digitally produced paraphrases, hand made paraphrases and blended production. The purpose is to shed some light on how the attitudes towards appropriations can be related to different media-specific tools. Theories about quotations in art are used to commenting on student´s work when paraphrasing by means of digital and/or manual techniques. The concluding remarks are that digital paraphrases of theme dominates, using quite simple juxtapositions, but still with interesting implications. Different ways of working with pictures digitally exposes multimodal ways for pupils to appropriating picture-making for their own purposes.
Socially engaged art practice and character education: Understanding others through visual art
This article examines to what extent socially engaged art practice encourages students by promoting creativity, a sense of citizen responsibility, critical thinking, reflection, an interest in social justice, and consideration of people living in the local community, and ultimately contributing significantly to character education. In community-based art education, which enables the building of character, learners overcome the limitations of knowledge-oriented education to understand others, thus adding more meaning to their lives and helping them cultivate democratic citizenship so that they may serve society. This article discusses a key feature of socially engaged art practice through a case study by focusing on the service learning of an alternative school for North Korean adolescent refugees. The theoretical roots of socially engaged art practice and service learning for developing democratic citizenship are examined. The case of art education at alternative schools for North Korean adolescent refugees is discussed through the lens of community-based art education. North Korean adolescent refugees and South Korean graduate school students taught and were taught through reciprocal participation in service learning.
John Dewey and Henry Schaefer-Simmern: The wholeness of artistic activity
Sally Armstrong Gradle
How can art as experience or education build a more humanized world? What are the benefits of an artful education that extend beyond the art itself? This work examines how two scholars of education and proponents of the arts have responded through their writing. The title of this article derives from John Dewey’s foreword to the book The Unfolding of Artistic Activity ( 1961), which is a unique collection of case studies on artistic growth written by art educator Henry Schaefer-Simmern. In this text, as in John Dewey’s Art as Experience (1934), there is an underlying implication that creative activity which is supported by the individual’s life experiences leads to wholeness of the person, and, by extension, contributes to a revitalized society. This article is a further exploration of these exemplars’ thinking on the topics of art and education. The intention is to highlight their consonance and consider ways that their theories broaden the meaning of art, experience and education.
Finding a space for art
Michael John Jarvis
The article addresses a key issue raised by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) with regard to the working spaces within schools where children can develop their art, craft and design skills and knowledge. In this comparative study the researcher interviewed two artists and four early years/primary teachers to try and establish the importance of the working space in developing effective practice, either as an artist or teacher of art. The interviews were recorded and field notes taken en situ. It became clear that the existence of a successful space for artworking was dependent upon other factors, for example, the practitioner’s specialist knowledge of art, how ideas for art were initiated, the extent of preparation and organization for artworking and the crucial importance of ‘practice’ for artist, child and teacher alike.
Developing thinking skills through the visual: An a/r/tographical journey
Veronica Garcia Lazo and Jill Smith
This article reports on research that investigated how students’ critical thinking skills can be developed through images. The research was located in New Zealand, a country whose national curriculum and assessment systems stress ‘thinking’ as a key competency and place emphasis on developing visual literacies. The research was underpinned by a critique of the impact of images on students living in an image-saturated world and the importance of them being visually literate. It involved examination and documentation of strategies used by two teachers to foster the critical thinking of year 13 students in visual arts education and their responses to those experiences. The research was positioned within an a/r/tographical framework, a method which links art, research and teaching, and privileges both text and image. The findings, presented as an integration of participant and researcher ‘voice’ and the ‘visual’, illustrate the profound effects of critical looking practice through an enquiry framework.
Models of culture and modelling culture: Visiting artists as cultural ambassadors
However lofty our educational goals, models of culture inform our teaching for better or worse. Therefore the quality of our theories of culture makes a difference to alleviating teacher anxieties about teaching diverse cultures and to better transcultural teaching. Effective preparation for multicultural teaching needs the best models of culture available, opportunities to interact with diverse cultures, and reflective practice about art teaching as a transcultural event. The limitations of dominant models of culture, which generally either assume people are puppets of cultural systems, or that cultural systems are epiphenomena of people’s actions, are reviewed. Transformative models developed by Critical Realists are recommended. Reflection on a visiting artist workshop as a case study of transcultural interaction complements the review of theory. Not knowing is the engine of cultural change; and lack of total control a reason for improvisation. Familiarity with culture’s Janus faces, fluid/incoherent and comforting/coherent, relieves teacher anxieties.
Mary Blatherwick And Nicholas Houghton And Laurel Lampela
Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education, 2nd ed., Eungie Joo, Joseph Keehn II and Jenny Ham-Roberts (eds) (2011) New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 436 pp., ISBN: 978-0-415-96085-4, p/bk, £34.99, h/bk £95.00
Artist Scholar: Reflections on Writing and Research, G. James Daichendt (2012) Bristol: Intellect, 161 pp., ISBN: 978-1-84150-487-2, p/bk, £16, $23
Art and Queer Culture, Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer (eds) (2013) London: Phaidon, 412 pp., ISBN: 978-0-7148-4035-5, h/bk, £49.95