Vol. 7 No. 1 (2011)
Volume 7 Issue 1
Cover Date: May 2011
Glen Coutts, University of Lapland
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Questions before words An Educational Space, a Stimulating Space
Authors: Maria Jesús Agra Pardiñas and José María Mesías Lema
Page Start: 7
An Educational Space, a Stimulating Space is a project by the Educational Sciences Faculty at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, which has been developed through the collaboration of university lecturers, the Galician Center of Contemporary Art and teachers. This project poses the question: What do we understand by an educational space This question is posed in order to initiate a community work process that is formative, artistic and educational. This process is formative because it means a shared reflection upon the concept of public space as a shared space. It is educational because it does not involve just the group class (90 students), but every faculty student and teacher in order to discover the different faculty building spaces. Working on educational spaces and how they are perceived, lived and used is a way of encouraging a collective, intergenerational agreement to live together. And it is artistic because it highlights the need to experiment with teaching as a process of artistic creation in which we can understand and put into practice creativity as a tool of transformation into reality: liberating arts from being a representation of things and transforming them into action, into direct, active participation. In this article, we propose educational photoactivism as a line of artistic action and research for teacher training. This approach is targeted to reflect on the situations involved in teachers' work by means of the narrative, suggesting the power of photography. Educational photoactivism favours a type of spiral learning on the part of the trainee teachers, because there is a constant flow of ideas, hypotheses, opinions and photographic interpretations from the teaching point of view.
The city as a site for interdisciplinary teaching and learning
Authors: Deborah L Smith-Shank and Ismail Ozgur Soganci
Page Start: 27
In this article, the authors make a case for using the city as a classroom, and through semiotic lenses, they reflect on the assignments and the outcomes of three courses they offered in diverse geographic locations. In these interdisciplinary courses they encouraged students to purposefully explore aspects of their cities and reflect on them as multifaceted theatrical performances. The pedagogical intention is to facilitate their students' engagement with the city's identity in ways they normally would not consider.
Seven ways to talk about art: One conversation and seven questions for talking about art in early childhood settings
Authors: David Bell
Page Start: 41
This article establishes a rationale for learning about art in early childhood settings through rich conversational engagements with artworks that can inform lifelong dispositions and skills. It presents one exemplary conversational learning sequence provoked by a child's own interests in a real early childhood setting. It suggests seven different questions as windows on artworks that can encourage different kinds of rich talking, feeling and thinking about the art objects that attract childrens' attention.
A study of an after-school art programme and critical thinking
Authors: Nancy Lampert
Page Start: 55
In this article, I discuss an Institutional Review Board-approved, community arts programme that was designed to enhance the critical thinking skills of ten urban elementary children by engaging them in enquiry-based art lessons. I conducted a single group, mixed methods study on a US campus through an undergraduate service-learning, honors course. Eight undergraduate honors students enrolled in the class. The interdisciplinary group of college students consisted of three art education students; a student from the sculpture department, one from social work, and three students from humanities and sciences. All of the undergraduate students had worked with children before and all had an interest in serving the community. To assess the children's critical thinking gains from the programme, I used qualitative observations and a quantitative critical thinking pre-test/post-test. The results of a t-test showed a statistically significant increase in the children's average critical thinking scores from the pre-tests to the post-tests (p.020).
Cartoon and gender: Masculinities in SpongeBob
Authors: Analice Pillar
Page Start: 69
This article reports on a study that deals with how male gender is constituted in SpongeBob SquarePants, one of the most widely watched cartoons on TV in Brazil. By analysing three episodes, the research team sought to understand the effects of meaning related to masculinity and how this signification is constructed in the interplay between visual and sound systems. Another objective was to understand the significations children elicit from this syncretic text. Both the cartoon episodes and the children's interpretations were analysed based on the discursive semiotics theory, in studies regarding cartoons and contemporary studies concerning childhood and cultural production. The results indicate that discussing in school what is portrayed and how genders are represented in cartoons is a way of denaturalizing the process of the constitution of men and women in our culture.
Children's funny art and the form it can take over time
Authors: Eliza Pitri
Page Start: 81
Children's untutored graphic representation is best understood as a form of visual communication rather than a form of perceptual development. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted in an attempt to investigate the specific visual and conceptual characteristics of children's humorous images. The participants of the study were 578 children between the ages of 4.5 and 12. They were asked to draw something funny and describe why what they drew was funny. What the children drew and said was coded, recorded and analysed using both qualitative and quantitative methods for different purposes, based on the following questions: Which are the themes of children's humorous art Where are these themes derived from How are the themes of children's humorous art presented The use of statistical analysis helped track correlations between age groups, and different categories and characteristics of children's humorous art. No significant gender differences were found in children's humorous images.
Page Start: 97