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…

A visit to the Children’s Wing at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

As part of the first stage of my PhD research I have been visiting a number of ‘creative laboratories’ in cultural and educational settings. In doing so, my aim has been to observe the diverse ways in which interdisciplinary teams of people have approached the construction of children’s creative environments in different contexts. My PhD is…

The new Tate Modern & art as a reflection of human experience

The new Tate Modern opened on Friday and it is fantastic. I could post an arty picture of the swish new building or write something about it being a new era for modern art in London. Instead I am going to post a visual representation of an intensely meaningful connection between one visitor and the…