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Explorative Methods in Examination in Visual Art Teacher Education in Sweden - Appropriation, A/R/Tography and Auto-biographic Methods as Means for Investigation

Conference contribution
Authors Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Published in InSEA Making, Conference Vancouver 8 - 13 of July 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Language en
Keywords a/r/tography, examination, exploration, teacher education, visual arts education
Subject categories Learning, Aesthetics

Abstract

One of the challenges visual art educators need to address is the hybrid nature of visual art education as it is both the study of artistic works and a subject of educational research. In Sweden, The Higher Education Act (Law 2013: 119), distinguishes between education and research as either scientific or artistic, but not both. In visual art teacher education both these aspects are the founding basis of the profession, since visual art education rests between the scientific and the artistic in constant dialogue between the two. That is, this movement requires students studying to be visual art teachers to manage the artistic as well as scientific aspects of their teaching. Visual art education is characterized by even more dichotomous conditions, such as the space between the verbal and the non-verbal (Carlgren, 1992; Skolverket, 2013) and the space of the visual requiring language while simultaneously working as an independent communicative tool. In visual art teacher education, the students’ use of artistic concepts complements the subject’s theoretical and practical content. The practice of taking risks and putting up with insecurity is part of the visual art educational process. The artistic work at the Visual Art Teacher Program at a university in Sweden not only offers students a method of working with artistic design and artistic work processes as part of their studies, but also offers them a method of working with uncertainty throught processes of the not-yet-known (Bauman, 2002; Atkinson, 2017), as well as understanding social perspectives of the subject matter on a more in-depth level (Lundh & Karlsson Häikiö, 2018). In the Visual Art Teacher Program the students perform and write several examinations, tutorials and finally a concluding Bachelor or Master Thesis. How is the progression in knowledge acquired through the educational process of becoming a visual art teacher? What kind of methods can be used to investigate a becoming teacher position and professional role? The students learning process consists of both written text and use of explorative methods (Wallén, 1993; Karlsson Häikiö, 2014) in different visual media and with a multitude of communicative tools. The studies are based on – besides the directives in the Swedish curriculum Lgr11 – media-specific and media-neutral studies and aspects on the subject content (Lindström, 2006; Marner & Örtegren, 2003). The Visual Art Teacher Program helps students understand their position between art and science using several pedagogical strategies, including artistic design, contemporary art as an educational tool, blogs, seminars using peer reviews, tutoring, and Socratic conversations (Pihlgren, 2010). These strategies combined with explorations of concepts such as appropriation (Wertsch, 1998), A/R/Tography (Irwin, 2004), as well as auto-biographic methods (Ellis & Bochner, 2000), strategies of resistance (Atkinson, 2017) or rhizomatic entanglements (Barad, 2014; Deleuze & Guattari, 2002) help visual art students’ process and to analyze the subject content of the subject field. In the presentation will be presented and discussed different forms for examination in visual art teacher education, as well as being given examples of student works and teaching practice at a visual art teacher education in Sweden.

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