29 SES 12 A, The Benefits of Fostering Critical and Visual Literacy Skills through the Creation and Appraisal of Contemporary Art Practice
This paper will examine the impact of the Creative Connections project in enabling Irish teachers to foster critical and visual literacy skills among their pupils, through the creation and appraisal of contemporary art practice. From an Irish perspective the paper will explore the CC participant teachers experience of utilising contemporary art practice as a lens to facilitate their pupils of explore notions of self, Irish and European identity and concepts of citizenship. The four case studies from Mater Dei Primary School, Dons Primary School, Gortnor Abbey and Larkin Community College will interrogate the CC projects from a rural and urban context. In conclusion the paper will draw on Efland, (2002); Eisner, (2005); Freedman, (2003); MacDonald (2006) and current thinking and theoretical standpoints that argue for the importance of the inclusion of contemporary art practice in formal curriculum. Hoffmann Davis (2008) and Efland, (2002) view this as a unique lens in which to cultivate critical ‘interpretive conversation’ as a significant cognitive activity that the arts foster when viewing and creating work.
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