Vol. 19 No. 2 (2023): International Journal of Education Through Art
IJETA 19.2 Table of Contents
Tara Winters, University of Auckland
This issue’s editorial is from our new principal editor, Tara Winters. She articulates her understanding of the role and responsibility of being an editor through the lens of stewardship. The contents of the issue are introduced, observing how the ethic of stewardship is present in every article from connections between art and ecology to sustaining a future for art education discourse through critical reflection and re-imagining research processes.
Benefits, outcomes and challenges of teaching contemporary art in Wisconsin K-12 art classrooms
Jaehan Bae, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
This study looks at the lived experiences of Wisconsin K-12 art teachers who teach contemporary art. While research suggests that student learning is enhanced by meaningful instruction in contemporary art, more knowledge is needed to inform art education theory and practice. The study methodology was grounded in descriptive phenomenology and data included surveys, one-on-one interviews and focus group interviews, which were analysed using thematic analysis. Reported benefits of teaching contemporary art included enhanced relevance and increased student excitement and engagement. Other outcomes included the development of novel pedagogies by teachers and the increased visibility of art programmes in school and community. Challenges for teachers included the need to supplement material- and product-based lessons, the complexity of addressing controversial issues and the increased preparation time required to create original contemporary art units. Potential limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are provided.
How Ghanaian secondary visual arts teachers perceive the role of creativity in their teaching
Enock Swanzy-Impraim, Edith Cowan University
Julia E. Morris, Edith Cowan University
Geoffrey W. Lummis, Edith Cowan University
Andrew Jones, Edith Cowan University
Globally, creativity is viewed as a twenty-first-century education competency that is acknowledged by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Ghanaian Ministry of Education (MOE) pre-tertiary curriculum framework. Ghanaian teachers are required to inspire, teach and develop creativity in secondary visual arts students using a social constructivist pedagogy. This necessitates exploring how teachers value creativity and its role in learning. The article investigated sixteen Ghanaian secondary visual arts teachers’ perceived role of creativity in their teaching and the challenges they faced developing creativity in students, using a qualitative case study approach. Interviews and participant observations were used to gather data across eight secondary schools. Interviews with teachers produced insights into how they are enacting creativity through pedagogy and the challenges they currently face, including attitudinal, administrative, resource deficits and external factors. Implications for policy and practice in Ghanaian secondary education that benefit the Ghana Education Service (GES) are discussed.
In lieu of flowers: An a/r/tographic journey of apology and forgiveness
Nancy Long, Concordia University
This research-creation project explored the tension and evolving relationship between the author and the public memorial to the victims of the Montreal massacre, a space she had been avoiding for over twenty years. The victims were fourteen women, who, in 1989, were gunned down at their university in Montreal in a violent act of misogyny. A public green space, the Place du 6-décembre-1989, was inaugurated on the tenth anniversary of the shooting and houses a monument titled, Nef pour quatorze reines. The project stemmed directly from the author’s first-time visit. The creative process enabled a conversation with matter, allowing the author to reconcile her unsettling relationship with the site and its memorial. Discomfort and vulnerability evolved into an emergent pedagogical story, and an apology in the form of tracings, or visual letters, as peace offerings to each of the fourteen women and as an act of self-forgiveness.
The art of wildflower walks: Understanding place through creative practice
Marni Stuart, RMIT University
Susan Davis, Central Queensland University
Art and design processes and practices can inform and stimulate knowledge building in powerful ways. Artist/designer Marni Stuart and artist/curator Susan Davis have employed creative practice to inform their own seeing and knowing of the natural spaces that surround them in South East Queensland, Australia. Through art and design practice they seek to share ways for others to ‘see’, appreciate and value these natural habitats and wildflower heritage.
Open design pedagogy: Revealing openness in early childhood education with digital technology
Jaana Brinck, Aalto University
Teemu Leinonen, Aalto University
Lasse Lipponen, University of Helsinki
Mira Kallio-Tavin, University of Georgia
Today, more than any other period in time, digital fluency is regarded as a necessary life skill for both children and adults. The potential of digital tools in early childhood learning has been recognized as helping to reinforce academic skills, as a way to communicate ideas and develop social skills, to support children to learn at their own pace, to learn how to learn and to make learning fun. This article contributes to the current research by conducting a participatory study in a kindergarten in Finland over the course of one year. The empirical data are analysed to (1) identify the characteristics of educational activities that make use of digital technology in early childhood education and (2) reveal the pedagogical approaches behind these activities. The findings of this study show that pedagogical activities entailing playful interaction with technology and the production of tangible artefacts, accompanied by visual documentation and reflection, support the effective use of technology in early childhood education. The educators’ open approach towards the use of technology also played a significant part in the positive outcomes experienced by teachers and students. We call this approach open design pedagogy and propose it as a model for using digital technologies in early childhood education.
Strange pedagogy: An artist-led educational model
Joshua I. Graham, University of Utah
This article highlights a series of artworks that reflect my approach to art education. Housed in an abandoned storefront-turned-gallery in Salt Lake City, the work was part of a project titled ‘The Wandering Art Center: From Lower Manhattan to the Colorado Plateau’. In my role as both artist and educator, I discuss how my art practice is the inspiration behind my teaching and how my teaching informs my art. This dialectic exchange includes the ecological, or more-than-human, members of my cultural ecology. The article maps this exchange as it explores the practice of walking, as both an artistic methodology and an educational strategy.
Art, education and the actuality of revolution: Althusser’s aesthetic materialism
Derek R. Ford, DePauw University
This article contributes to research on materialism, art and education by introducing the aesthetic, political and pedagogical theories of Louis Althusser. It begins by situating the argument within the contemporary conjuncture of the global class struggle, particularly in the West, which is defined by an ideological break with the Marxist tradition in which the actuality of revolution is denied. Such a conjuncture demands not only scientific critique and persuasion but also, more importantly, an aesthetic experience in the possibility of a revolutionary transformation of society. Analysing Althusser’s writings on aesthetics and politics and applying this analysis to Althusser’s own writing, it develops a theory of an aesthetic pedagogical encounter through which we can experience the actuality of revolution and the materiality of thought itself.
(Extra)ordinary artistic and poetic responses to COVID lockdown (2020–21)
Geraldine Burke, Monash University
Miriam Potts, Independent Artist-Researcher
This essay is about the making of a visual essay as a response to the conditions of COVID lockdown (2020–21). It explores how two artists worked together and apart to develop inquiries through making and sharing art and text. We worked apart to produce artworks and together to construct the visual essay. Applying a duoethnographic method we created this visual essay to reveal our making processes within the limitations of COVID lockdown.
Contemporary Art from Cyprus: Politics, Identities, and Cultures across Borders, Elena Stylianou, Evanthia Tselika and Gabriel Koureas (eds) (2021)
Reviewed by Tereza Markidou, European University of Cyprus
Out of Place: Artists, Pedagogy and Purpose, Tim Doud and Zoe Charlton (eds) (2021)
Reviewed by Rebecca Miles-Keogh, La Trobe University