20 SES 05 JS, Intercultural Practices
Joint Session with NW 07
Objectives: The aim of the proposal is to address the challenge of marginalisation, xenophobia, racism and interculturalism through the use of collaborative art-making. The study also explores in what ways school communities across five European countries may use collaborative art-making to become more inclusive in terms of maximising the participation of all children in their cultures, curricula and learning communities. The project's central activity is the adaptation, development, testing, implementation and dissemination of new teaching methodologies and pedagogical strategies for use in the classroom and the development of materials for use by students. The new pedagogical strategies relate to creative uses of collaborative art-making that refer to topics related to marginalisation, diversity, interculturalism and democratic European citizenship.
Research Questions: What kind of teaching methodologies and educational activities that pertain to collaborative art-making allow students to: (i) engage in individual art-making activities regarding diversity, marginalisation and a democratic European citizenship; (ii) discuss the ‘stories’ of their creations in relation to their depiction of diversity and encounters with ‘others’; (iii) enhance their positive stances towards ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’; (iv) enhance their in-between interaction promoting the increased participation of students who have been identified as marginalised.
Theoretical Framework: Teachers face difficulties in approaching children especially those who come from disadvantaged groups (Angelides, Stylianou & Gibbs, 2006). Collaborative art-making proved to be efficient in assisting teachers to effectively transfer to students intercultural values like respect to the ‘other’ and acceptance of difference (Angelides & Michaelidou, 2009). Thus collaborative art-making may become an important tool in the hands of teachers in promoting interculturalism and reducing marginalisation.
Research has shown that by reducing marginalisation and increasing participation, certain power relations (economic, gendered, ethnic) can be altered because collaborative art-making can help students see things differently (Cooper & Sjostrom, 2006). Students can come closer to each other, understand each other’s emotions, see their peers from a human perspective and generally, think harder about their classmates regardless of race, ethnicity or social class (Rubin, 1997). Collaborative art-making directs students not to simplify human emotions and behaviour but to see their peers as human beings, and as a result, to begin trusting them.
Through collaborative art-making, children who have a common goal to achieve within their group learn to share thoughts and emotions and use critical thought to go into the others’ emotions. Thus, all children may externalise their stereotypes, exchange thoughts and ideas on diversity and democracy, and empathise with the others. In addition, children who face learning or language difficulties are able to participate, as the art approach is different from the oral approaches. Children, who do not express themselves orally as they do not know the language or for other reasons, can transmit their desires through their drawings. Lastly, through collaboration, marginalised children may develop friendships and build trust with their art group.
Angelides, P. & Michaelidou, A. (2009) The deafening silence: Discussing children’s drawings for understanding and addressing marginalisation, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(1), 27-45. Angelides, P., Stylianou, T. & Gibbs, P. (2006) Preparing teachers for inclusive education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(4), 513-522. Cooper, M. & Sjostrom, L. (2006). Making art together: How collaborative art-making can transform kids, classrooms and communities. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Hajisoteriou, C. (2012). Intercultural education set forward: Operational strategies and procedures of Cypriot classrooms. Intercultural Education, 23(2), 133-146. Karkou, V. & Glasman, J. (2004). Arts, education and society: The role of the arts in promoting the emotional wellbeing and social inclusion of young people. Support for Learning, 19(2), 57-65. Rubin, J. (1997). Treating children through art. Athens: Ellinika Grammata. [In Greek]
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