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Art-based learning in the Visual Art Teacher Education Program

Conference contribution
Authors Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Published in NERA 47th conference, Åbo/Turku Finland, Rethinking the futures of education in the Nordic countries, Theme/Network: Arts, Culture and Education
Publication year 2020
Published at HDK­-Valand - Academy of Art and Design
Language en
Keywords art-based learning, examination, teacher education, visual arts education
Subject categories Didactics, Aesthetics, Children, Educational Sciences


Topic: In visual art teacher education artistic processes as well as theoretical perspectives are combined with didactic reflection to help students understand visual art education as a position between art and science. The use of artistic methods, theories and concepts not only offers a method of working with artistic work processes as part of the studies, but also a method to analyze the subject content in visual art education and of understanding the social perspective of the subject matter on a more in-depth level. By using art as the starting point of teaching opportunities are created not only to work with artistic formulation, but also to develop visual competencies (Wagner & Schönau 2016) as becoming visual art teachers. Framework: One of the theoretical entry-points in the Visual Art Teacher Program is the concept appropriation, which is used both as a method and tool for learning. Wertsch (1998) defines appropriation as the individual’s ability to develop skills and competences and apply it for their own purposes. By working with appropriation, different dimensions of the subject content in visual arts can be processed and a deeper meaning can be gained. Through the use of appropriation, it is possible to get another view of school and education in society. Methodology: The method is to describe teaching as a way to create artistic knowledge through practice. The art process is used for didactic purposes through reflection and peer feedback. For example, the students learn how to use art and art production as a way to reflect on specific topics or to create learning processes in arts or in relation to other school subjects. Several pedagogical strategies, including contemporary art as an educational tool, blogs, tutoring seminars using peer reviews and Socratic conversations (Pihlgren 2010) are teaching strategies combined with explorative methods (Karlsson Häikiö 2013; Wallén 1993) to help the visual art students’ learning process. Results: The student’s artistic process is often referred to as an aesthetic learning process (Burman, 2014; Marner, 2005; Selander & Lindstrand 2009). Artistic works can be thought of as a product, tool, and medium at the same time (Bourriaud 2009 p. 158). Within the subject content of visual art education, visual products can be treated and assessed as a product and as a process (Lindström, 1998). In addition, the subject matter implicitly and explicitly asks questions about media-specific aspects or aspects linked to image production and mastery of materials and techniques as well as media-neutral parts such as image as communicative and thinking tools (Marner & Örtegren 2003; Lindström 2006). In the presentation given of how artistic processes can be used didactically in teacher education and the prerequisites of art in relation to art teacher education is discussed and problematized. Relevance: The use of contemporary art makes it possible to see art as a tool for viewing, reviewing, and deconstructing, creating interpretations and re-interpretations of social phenomena and events. Young (2010) interprets appropriation from a cultural perspective and Evans (2009) problematizes art as appropriation where “artists generate art by reproducing art” (2009 p. 14).

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