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Susan M Coles
Networking and advocacy, or The Wisdom of Crowds
I want to explore the theme of collaboration through networking.
In his book "The Wisdom of Crowds" James Surowiecki, the American writer and journalist, contends that groups of people can be collectively more effective at solving problems, undertaking innovation and decision making than individuals or elite groups. What happens when you also start to learn collaboratively and together in a network? How does the community of inquiry create learning space, and also support the well being and self esteem of those involved? Our community, our collaboration, our networks - they all give us opportunities to promote and to defend art craft and design education. This then, is my story.
A reflection on Mindful Meditation
At this time of the global pandemic, lives can seem out of control as chaos and violence are in the news and in the streets of our neighborhood. This is particularly true in the United States as protests are common and the COVID virus continues to expand as many people in the US ignore precautionary medical advice and continue to socialize in close proximity without a mask.
Chaos and turmoil are difficult even for the citizen who has experiences in difficult times such as warfare, social unrest, economic crisis, and health concerns like Ebola, avian flu, aids, and now, COVID-19. But this talk will focus on helping children. I will propose school procedures that can help stabilize the students and their environments. In this, I will refer specifically to Mindful Meditation.
Art Education in the Time of Coronavirus, Reflecting on Today, Anticipating Tomorrow and the Influence of White Supremacy
In preparing the keynote address for and thinking about the title designated to the Czech Republic InSEA conference, Art Education in the Time of Coronavirus, Reflecting on Today, Anticipating Tomorrow, it raised two principal questions in my mind as it related to COVID—19 pandemic and the protests we have been experiencing in the United States and abroad. Why are Black and Brown people disproportionately infected and killed by the COVID—19 pandemic? While so many Black and Brown people unjustly brutalized and murdered by the police for years, the brutal murder of George Floyd cause an eruption of protests and anger on the streets of the United States and abroad, why? While different, the thread that seems to connect these two situations is racism.
Racism is an attitude of superiority that is developed over hundreds of years and manifests itself into privilege for some people who use this privilege to advance themselves and denigrate Black and Brown people educationally, economically, politically, and socially. A modern multiracial society cannot sustain or advance itself by pretending that racism does not exist because it is perceived not to impact some people. Addressing racism is not about taking from one group to make the other better but to strengthen society so that all its people can thrive equally. Nelson Mandela says, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." My anticipation for tomorrow is to improve the human condition by educating students to recognized racism and how to address it. This is the focus of my presentation for the Czech Republic InSEA conference. In addition, I will discuss pedagogical approaches and strategies to achieve this goal.
Inside-Outside: a post-Covid exploration of the possibilities of art education
At the same time as lockdown has isolated and insulated many inside the space of an apartment, in the world outside tempestuous movements rage. The virus, wildly infectious and minimally understood cuts an alarmingly rising curve. Hundreds of thousands mass in demonstrations about race, power, political interests, human rights, sectarian angers. Truths, speculations, petty gossip and lies mingle in social media and journalism. Economies teeter. Existing territorial and power disputes continue, perhaps grow. The power we have as individuals, always somewhat fragile and limited, now appears further restricted by enforced seclusion and technologically mediated communication.
A widely lauded function of the arts is that art–making provides both a medium and a critical yet visceral framework to question, explore and make at least transient and perhaps troublesome sense of the inner human situation and the world outside. In arts education we probe how artists in our heritages have struggled with such sense-making and work to facilitate new relevant navigations into making meaning in the face of problems. In this post-Covid era (and I use the term post- in the sense of something begun but not yet completed) we have plenty of material that needs to be made sense of. However, it seems that many of our most familiar tools have been confiscated and our opportunities curtailed. Some arts may be made in solitude; others depend on physical interaction. All expect and need audience. The varied ways of using one or more of the arts as a medium for learning, for research or for health have developed in contexts that allow embodied and interactive collaboration. Can we usefully adapt our existing practices to survive the restrictions of this time? And can we do so with aesthetic flair as well as with educational effectiveness? This presentation will be in part theoretical, teasing out the core elements of what makes arts education effective. It will also examine some post-Covid examples of communal art-making that have sought to break through the barriers of separation, more or less successfully.
Olusegun Michael Adeniyi
Virtual Learning Space and Its Impacts During the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns: A Case Study of Art Educators’ Hangout
There is a growing demand for global competence and cross-cultural skills, and that international experience is invaluable for teachers and their students; but the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to so many social and academic gatherings. For this reason, Teaching Visual Art has created a virtual meeting place for art educators tagged Art Educators’ Hangout. Reality of today’s world during the COVID-19 pandemic is that things are no longer the way they were. The world is observing social distancing and this has made it impossible for art educators to come together physically as the boarders are closed and countries are on lockdown. The Art Educators’ Hangout has offered the art educators the platform to discuss their works, interact and inspire one another towards advancing the learning field of Art and improving the quality of art education on the continent of Africa. The initiative is to foster dialogue and sharing stimulating art projects to improve creativity and art appreciation with the vision to build network of art educators across the continent of Africa that are locally relevant and influential with global perspective. This presentation provides the broad overview of the virtual learning space, Art Educators’ Hangout and its socio-economic impacts on Art educators during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Re-thinking the meaning of art for children and adolescents and the type of art education for the future
The current pandemic has swept swiftly across the globe and destabilized many traditional social institutions that we are familiar with, and one such institution is schools. The present crisis has also forced us to confront fundamental issues in art education that we have perhaps, ignored or not taken seriously for a long time. Art education in schools is often subjected to political and social agendas and are ascribed roles that are consistent with and supportive of various governments’ ideals. While many of these roles of art education are reasonable and valid, it is timely for us to re-evaluate the meaning of art education for children and adolescents. In Singapore, we are fortunate that art is a mandatory subject for students from primary to secondary 2 level. However, what does art education mean to these young people and what can we do to create meaningful art experiences for them? In addition, present constraints brought about by the crisis such as social distancing measures, museum closures and online learning take away the very kind of learning in art that is anchored in actual physical viewing, demonstration, modeling and making. I will share experiences from Singapore’s context and discuss the need for art teachers to be technology-ready. I will also suggest that we think about why young people make art and the possible value it holds for them.