29 SES 09, Ways of Approaching the Visual
This paper develops research questions and continuous the pedagogical aims that serve as the foundation for the author's doctoral dissertation. The research is implemented in an integrated school (students from 3 to 18 years) in Barcelona, which has created an innovative learning environment. This is an intra-curricular space that, based on trans-disciplinary artistic practices and multi-grade learners (6 to 12 years old), becomes a complement to the formal curriculum that remains still stuck in the fragmentation of learning subjects. Within this framework for an innovative learning environment, the author developed and is now implementing an ongoing workshop that focuses on mathematical concepts, by using the notion of volume as a basis for experimentation and contextualization. This activity seeks to localize new ways for introducing drawing, and other exercises involving space and volume, in learning situations that precede student's development (Vygotsky, 1996).
The project (ongoing each year) involves students working in a collaborative space, throughout the entire academic year. Every day, three multi-aged groups (6-8; 9-10; 11-12) comprising 18 students each participated in the workshop. Their participation lasted six weeks, at which point three other groups became incorporated into the project. The total number of participants during every academic year is over 300 primary school students.
Through the design and implementation of this project, the research asks: how can we intervene in an innovative educational context to improve students' intelligences (Gardner, 2003), skills and diverse abilities (spatial, logical, abstract, and mathematic), in order to generate deep understanding and construct, collaboratively, alternative epistemologies of space and thought?
To address this question, the workshop is developed as a transversal teaching-learning framework where, for example, drawing and applied arts acquire a more valued role in education (Arnheim, 1993) and where mathematics are explained, through experiments and practice, in a contextualized manner (Pineda & Callís, 2014). Geometry and volume, as the activity content, play a key role in this study of relationships. Throughout the implementation of the workshop, the project aims to: 1) foster a critical awareness of spaces, and how they affect us, how we perceive them, and how we live in them, in terms of an emancipatory educational process (Freire, 1972) and, 2) activate a continuous inquiry into invisible learning (Cobo & Moravec, 2011) and innovative learning environments (Istance, 2009), for 3) to explore and contribute to understanding ways in which art practice can be used as a tool for promoting trans-disciplinary learning (Hernández-Hernández, 2014).
By understanding the process of children‘s acquiring, understanding and expressing modes to visualize reality, the author is trying to articulate new alternative pedagogies and exercises, including explaining drawing methods near perspective laws and technical design for helping 6-8 years old children to develop the volume concept.
Usually it’s well accepted in the field that the volume concept acquired at Primary School occurs through a maturity process (Piaget, 1964) in 10-12 year olds, a theory that has been under looked within Art Education. Aligned to them, Lowenfeld (1961), Kellogg (1979), Marín (1988) and -in a Spanish context- Estrada (1987) state several stages to explain this -supposed natural- discovering and development of graphic skills and maturation of tridimensional though by the children. Because volumetric drawing isn't taught at 6-8 years old little is known about real potential of students.
Arnheim, R. (1993). Consideraciones sobre la educación artística. Barcelona: Paidós. Bazeley, P. (2003) Teaching Mixed Methods. In Qualitative Research Journal, 3: 117-126. Charmaz, K. (1994). Discovering chronic illness: Using grounded theory. In B. Glaser (Ed.), More grounded theory methodology: A reader (65-93). Mill Valley: Sociology Press. Cobo, C. & Moravec, J. W. (2011). Aprendizaje invisible. Hacia una nueva ecología de la educación. Barcelona: Laboratori de Mitjans Interactius. Edwards, B. (1984). Aprender a dibujar con el lado derecho del cerebro. Madrid: Blume. Estrada Díez, E. (1987). La expresión plástica infantil y el arte contemporáneo. Doctoral thesis not published. Freire, P. (1972). Cultural action for freedom. Londres: Penguin education. Gardner, H. (2003). La inteligencia reformulada. Las inteligencias múltiples en el siglo XXI. Barcelona: Paidós. Glaser, B. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press. Hernández-Hernández, F. (2014). Las materias que distraen o la inutilidad de lo inútil. Cuadernos de Pedagogía, 447: 62-65. Barcelona: Wolters Kluwer. Istance, D. (2009). Education Today. The OECD Perspective. Paris: OECD Publishing. Ives, S. W. & Gardner, H. (1984). Cultural influences on Children’s Drawing. A developmental perspective. A Robert W. Ott i Al Hurwitz (Eds.): Art in Education. An International Perspective: 13-30. Pennsylvania: University Press. Kellogg, R. (1979). Análisis de la expresión plástica del preescolar. Madrid: Cincel-Kapelusz. Lowenfeld, V. (1961). Desarrollo de la capacidad creadora. Buenos Aires: Kapelusz. Marín Viadel, R. (1988). El dibujo infantil: tendencias y problemas en la investigación plástica de los escolares. Arte, Individuo y Sociedad, 1: 5-30. Madrid: Servicio de Publicaciones. Marx K. (1941). Theses on Feuerbach. F. Engels (recop.). New York: International publishers. McAdams, D. P. (1993). The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self. Michigan: W. Morrow & Co. Menard, S. (2002). Longitudinal Research (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Piaget, J. (1964). Development and learning. A R. E. Ripple i V. N. Rockcastle (Eds.), Piaget Rediscovered. A report on the conference on cognitive studies and curriculum development: 228-237. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. Pineda, R. & Callís, J. (2014). (Arquitectura)Matemàtiques=(Matemàtiques)Arquitectura?. Perspectiva Escolar, 378: 41-47. Barcelona: Rosa Sensat. Springgay, S., Leggo, C., Irwin, R. L. & Gouzouasis, P. (2007). Being with artography. Sense Publishers. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Vygotsky, L. S. (1996). El desarrollo de los procesos psicológicos superiores. Barcelona: Crítica.
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