The principal arguments in Art, Artists and Pedagogy

Art, Artists and Pedagogy is a

Art, Artists and Pedagogy is a book for the future, but the world changes so quickly that it seems already some of the ideas in the book are coming about. The gradual move away from standards and a one-size fits all approach is fast losing ground. As a response we now need to look forward and at a new role and purpose for the arts in education.

Art, Artists and Pedagogy is built upon two philosophers driving the text; Gert Biesta and Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995). Gert likes to ask what is the purpose of education and what place do we allocate democratic principles when we look at pedagogy? Three of his concerns mentioned in the book are; the middle ground, grown-up-ness and responsibleness. The middle ground is the space where the teacher has to mitigate their desire with that of the student. I see this very clearly as the teacher's desire to teach, while also concerned to promote students' self-directed work. A more inclusive act is students making their own artwork quite different to recreating a work, exhibition or performance to order. For Gert seeing different desires is fundamental to the role of the teacher in coming to terms with their desire and the desire of the students.

Then there is the question of grown-up-ness that is being-in-the-world putting forward who we are and what we do in a social context. The political implications of this are clear. We are sociable and to be in an educational environment is to accept others and be aware of our otherness while we create and show ourselves in and through art. To engage and accept difference in how we might be accepted or not. Something many artists and educators can find hard to achieve.

Responsibleness is again political. This is where we have to make judgments as to what it is that we are in the world, and what does it mean to be responsible? In art this is a tricky matter. How do we make decisions on what is responsible ? Do we take all kinds of art or are there matters of quality that we have to be aware of?(Perhaps someone may wish to comment on this topic)

Deleuze with his collaborator Félix Guattari (1930-1992) produced many texts that provoke the reader into ways of re-looking at the world. In Art, Arts and Pedagogy Deleuze and Guattari's ideas are explored in a variety of ways examining what is and how we might respond to the artwork. David R. Cole explores the work of Francis Bacon and Deleuze as the unconscious comes into play. David Lines brings a musical dimension to thinking Deleuze in musical improvisation and jan jagodzinski puts forward definitive arguments for Deleuze and the Anthropocene, where art fits this context. Film comes into contention in Jessie Beier and Jason Wallin’s writing and John Roder and Sean Sturm figure Deleuze in their look at early childhood teachers' practice.

These chapters need time to absorb and decipher, in some instances, but educators not familiar with Gert Biesta or Deleuze may see new openings and challenges appear in this exciting new era of what arts education might become.

Come to the launch of 'Art, Artists and Pedagogy' - University of Auckland, Faculty of Education - see Events page for more details!

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