29 SES 02, Challenging times: educating art educators in the present
Education for arts educators - A study on teaching practice in higher education for arts educators
The practice of teachers in bachelor's and master's programs for arts educators is the topic of this research paper. More specifically, I will describe and analyse the position of the teachers in the tension between their e-ducational practices and the competence-oriented context of European higher education. I use the notation 'e-ducation', inspired by Masschelein (2010), as a reference to leading out, reaching out.
Jacques Rancière, a French philosopher, is an important source in my literature study. His critical analysis of educational practice and artistic practice forms an important basis for the vision that is behind my description of the position of the teacher within e-ducational practices in higher education. This description arises from participatory observations in programs for arts educators. The paper is based on my PhD thesis that I defended successfully in December 2018 at the faculty of Fine Arts from the University of Porto.
What is the position of the bachelor and master teacher, active in programs for arts educators, in the tension between their e-ducational practice and the competence based framework that typifies European higher education?
The objective is to explore in this research paper the position of the bachelor and master teacher in an interaction with the following elements. Research challenges and research insights I encountered in my PhD will also be shared.
*The competence based European framework is developed from a perspective of effectiveness. An e-ducative practice does not recognize this linear reality. To embrace this e-ducative approach, I introduce the concept of study in my thesis.This because the concept of study doesn’t includean intention for operativity.A program can be a place of study.
*Attention, emancipation and the unknown are three concepts that I will explore in the research paper. The concepts are a result of the literature study I did. Mainly writings from Jacques Rancière and Elizabeth Ellsworth inspired me for the development of these concepts. These three terms were also the fundaments for my participatory observations in higher education.
*An e-ducational context cannot be predicted and controlled. In reality, an e-ducational activity is an unpredictable adventure. By approaching education in a rhizomatic, adventurous way, a transitional space can appears. In these spaces we can explore the world in a way that goes behind known patterns and certainties.
* Research is often also caught in effective systems. Post-qualitative research seems to offer an answer to this. This research approach starts from content in order to arrive at basic concepts. The methodology is therefore not placed first in the research process. As a result, a post-qualitative research may also become a place of study.
This paper can be placed in the tradition of the critical pedagogy. Jacques Rancière and Elizabeth Ellsworth are important sources for the presentation. The basic vision on which this paper is based, is developed on their work.
Methodology: Critical ethnography is the research tradition within which this paper can be placed. Programs in higher education were the contexts that I studied for the research. The observation focus was mainly on the position of the teacher in the relationship between the e-ducational practice within the study program and the competency-based framework of higher education. I did a literature study in the first phase of the doctoral project on which this paper is based. In this literature study, the work of critical thinkers, such as Jacques Rancière and Elizabeth Ellsworth, was central. This literature study was supplemented with a study of artworks. Artworks were approached as sources. In a second phase participatory observations took place in programs in higher education. As a participatory observer I was involved in the e-ducational activities in the courses. From this I kept field notes. The findings from the literature study and the participatory observations I put together in a document that later became the thesis. This writing process was a constant activity throughout the first and second phase. By writing, results were analysed, confronted with each other and related to the focus of the research. I also wanted to be consistent in the research method, with a view to my subject. As a researcher, I was interested in a content-oriented approach within a PhD program. An approach in which the technical methodology was above my subject, would not be in harmony with my position as a researcher. After finalizing my PhD, the term post-qualitative research came on my path. This term refers to research that deliberately chooses to take content as a starting point and not the methodology. In the paper I explore the concept of post-qualitative research by confronting it with the research that I have carried out in my PhD.
Finding 1: Plea for bachelor's and master's programs for arts educators as places where students and teachers can investigate what it can mean to be an arts educator. In this way, programs can be study places within a competence-based system. Finding 2: Attention, emancipation and the unknown as three interesting educational concepts in higher education, also within education for art educators. Teachers can encourage students to study the world with attention, beyond the known, to relate to the world in this way. Finding 3: An educational context is a complex context. As an educator, the idea may arise that you can convey ideas, interpretations and analyses clearly and that you can therefore evaluate them. However, a pupil can interpret or 'translate' a word, a work of art, a text differently. This translation, the space between the word or the work or the text and the personal interpretation, offers a lot of e-ducational possibilities. It is up to educators and teachers to explore these opportunities together with students. Finding 4: The thesis is based on a constant writing process throughout my doctoral project. This gives the reader an insight into the trajectory that I have completed as a researcher. The thesis does not only isolate the final phase of my trajectory. Finding 5: Post-qualitative research as an interesting concept for arts educational, practice-oriented research. By starting from the content, you prevent a (research) frame from distorting the view of reality. After all, in arts educational, practice-oriented research, you often have to deal with complex contexts. Post-qualitative research offers the possibility to come up with concepts from contents. Those concepts will then be leading in the research process. This allows a non-linear practice context to be examined in a nuanced way.
Biesta, G. (2010). A new logic of emancipation: the methodology of Jacques Rancière. Educational theory, 33(1), 39-59. Biesta, G. (2017). Letting art teach - art education 'after' Joseph Beuys. Arnhem: Artez Press. Ellsworth, E. (1997). Teaching positions: Difference, pedagogy, and the power of address. New York: Teachers College Press. Ellsworth, E. (2005). Places of learning : media, architecture, pedagogy. New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Erickson, F. (1984). What Makes School Ethnography 'Ethnographic'? Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 15, 51-66. Foucault, M. (1988). Technologies of the Self. In M. Foucault, L. H. Martin, H. Gutman, & P. H. Hutton, Technologies of the Self- A Seminar with Michel Foucault (pp. 16-49). London: Tavistock publications. Gielen, P. (2011). Teaching art in the neoliberal - Realm realism versus Cynicism. Amsterdam: Valiz. Lewis, T. E. (2015). Suspending the Ontology of Effectiveness in Education: Reclaiming the Theatrical Gestures of the Ineffective Teacher. In T. E. Lewis, & M. J. Laverty, Art's Teachings, Teaching's Art - Philosophical, Critical and Educational Musings (pp. 165-178). Dordrecht: Springer. Masschelein, J. (2010). E-ducating the gaze: the idea of a poor pedagogy. Ethics and Education, 5(1), 43-53. Masschelein, J., & Simons, M. (2012). Apologie van de school - Een publieke zaak. Leuven: Acco. Rancière, J. (1991). The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five lessons in intellectual emancipation. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press. Rancière, J. (2015). De geëmancipeerde toeschouwer. Octavo publicaties.
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