A book on pedagogy and the arts ?
Art, Artists and Pedagogy looks to the future, to consider what do we do now in this post standards era? What are the new terms of reference when we no longer have to contend with the imposition of literacies, or outcomes, to measure student achievement?
Ask yourself what ideas can offer us a way forward? What texts can we rely on that speak to students and the arts and how can we interpolate that text? Art, Artists and Pedagogy is a book written for teachers at whatever level in whatever capacity involved in the arts. While some chapters in the book will challenge the reader, and provide different, complex pathways, that the reader may revisit on subsequent readings, for the most part the text is designed to be accessible and yet stimulating and relevant to today.
There are two principal set of ideas in this publication. Professor Gert Biesta’s work brings a forthright and persuasive body of knowledge that while based in philosophy is readily accessible for arts practitioners. Gert’s work is complemented by the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, who produced far reaching texts that connect to how we are, what we do and the manner in which we engage with the world. Deleuze looks at the arts and questions the very act of making and being an artist. Anyone who teaches the arts and has read Deleuze, will know how influential his work has been in re-evaluating the experience of art and being an artist.
If teachers are presented with ideas that are powerful and stimulating and can allow themselves to take risks, then they will be rewarded by reading Art, Artists and Pedagogy. More and more teachers are finding that teaching can be a far richer experience by moving beyond fixed learning outcomes. To embrace Deleuze’s expression, many see education as an immanent experience, that does not have a beginning or end but arises in the middle and takes flight, according to the interaction with those around them and the environment they find themselves.
Reading the book, one can see tensions between the two protagonists Biesta and Deleuze, and yet this is why Art, Artists and Pedagogy can be useful for academics seeking a course text, that considers new materialism and post-human concepts in arts education while acknowledging pragmatic ways to implement change.