A language of critique, a language of possibilities

This post discusses the potentials of combining ‘critical’ and ‘possible’ discourse in gallery education. I draw upon the work of Maxine Greene and Elliot Eisner to consider how the combination of these ‘languages’ can be used to construct new individual and collective relations, boundaries and ways of thinking.    “There was a language in the…

Art + humanism + societal change

The Italian Renaissance (1400-1600 A.D.) was a period of monumental cultural and social change. The movement saw the resurgence of humanistic values, a philosophy that focused on the potential and possibilities of humanity in shaping the structures, beliefs and activities of society as opposed to a reliance on Christian doctrine. Religious beliefs were not entirely dismissed. Rather, the worth and value…

Children, art & the carnivalesque

This post discusses Bakhtin’s term of ‘the carnivalesque’ in relation to children’s programming in art museums. Whilst these radical moments of change offer the possibility of social transformation, I argue that these need to be supported by a system of sustainable relationships that facilitate children’s ongoing learning and development. The role of the learning curator is then discussed in relation to constructing and guiding these relationships over time.

A visit to the Reggio Australia pedagogical documentation centre

This post features a summary and reflection on the theory, principles and practices of the Reggio Emilia process of pedagogical documentation. The possibilities and challenges of what this reflective methodology holds for children’s gallery education are also discussed in relation to my doctoral research.  “There is a constant relational reciprocity between those who educate and those…

Endings & continuity

Last week I had my final day of data generation in Manchester. Over the past couple of months I have been fortunate enough to have worked within a fantastic team comprised of an education curator, artists, teachers, children and parents. This time has been such an intense period of development, growth and expansion for my…

Family learning at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (UK)

This post features an interview with Emma Spencer, Family Learning Coordinator at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (UK).  The Yorkshire Sculpture Park sits upon 500 acres of jolly green parkland that an Australian who has never visited rural England may be pitifully excited to see. The open-air gallery won the 2014 Art Fund Prize for Museum of…

Learning with Serpentine – Interim Report

This is a repost from the Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacies (CRACL) blog. The original post was written by Pat Thomson, Professor of Education within the School of Education, University of Nottingham (UK).  We have been conducting an evaluation of learning in the Serpentine’s World without Walls programme. We have just reported on our…

PhD data collection… day one

Tomorrow is a big day. I have my cameras charged. My consent forms printed. My clipboards are sitting in my backpack. A giant paper roll to display pedagogical documentation is rolled up next to the front door. This comes on top of months of reading, thinking and discussing the literatures, conceptual foundations, data collection methods…

Vygotsky on collective creativity & the power of imagination

This post discusses collective creativity, its interconnection with imagination and the potential both of these offer in relation to a pursuit towards empathy and understanding between people. These concepts are not new. Maxine Greene, John Dewey and Elliot Eisner have all discussed them extensively. In this post I will focus upon an article written by the late social constructivist Lev Vygotsky titled ‘Imagination and Creativity…

Key Texts: Art, Play, Children & Pedagogy

Below is a selection of five key texts which underpin both my practice as a children’s curator and current PhD research. There are many other books and papers that could have made it onto the list! As very little has been written on early year’s gallery education, especially around the construction of creative environments for…