Piecing it Together

piecing together The required coursework for the PhD is now complete and this term is starting to be busier. I’m teaching an art history (visual culture) course, doing work for my supervisor Rita, and just got word that I will be the TA for an education technology course in the MET program called “Constructivist Strategies of E-Learning.” I have to get proposals for my comprehensive exams in by the end of the month, followed by a meeting with my faculty committee. Recent papers have helped me sort this out a bit.

My papers have explored individual areas of curriculum theory, interview research, arts-based educational research, and philosophies of the self….but, if I had to sum up my theory for art education in general, what would it be? I draw upon these words for help….

John Berger: “Several years ago, when considering the historical face of art, I wrote that I judged a work according to whether or not it helped men in the modern world claim their social rights. I hold to that. Art’s other, transcendental face raises the question of man’s ontological right.” (The White Bird, in The Sense of Sight, 1985, p. 9)

Alexander Sidorkin: “Ontology is interested in answering the question: What does it mean (for a human being, in this case) to exist? Educational theory, in turn needs a theory of the human individual. Understanding the self as dialogical in nature is for me an important bridge from philosophy to educational theory.” (Beyond Discourse: Education, the Self, and Dialogue, 1999, p. 43)

Complexity theory in relation to education, http://www.complexityandeducation.ualberta.ca/glossary.htm :
Any influence on a system that results from its own activity. Feedback is both an effect of a system’s past activity and an influence on its future activity – an output and an input; circular causal processes allow complex systems to change their structure through their own activity; with complexity theory in education, classes include feedback in the form of dialogue; discussions and presentations, which in turn shape the classroom’s future activities; classrooms are implicated or nested within larger and similar feedback processes at the cultural and biological levels.

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