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Learning Scenarios for Social and Cultural Change

«Bildung» through Academic Teaching

by Lara Rodríguez Sieweke (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 226 Pages

Summary

The anthology departs from the fundamental idea that the university is deeply connected to the ideal of «Bildung» and to democratic values. If the university should serve as an open space to develop democracy and to meet today’s social, cultural and ecological challenges, then one has to take into account the different disciplines’ approaches to education. Thus, the featured proposals on school and university education come from diverse research fields such as general education, media education, art and aesthetic education, philosophy, ethnology, sociology, performance art and gender.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction: Learning Scenarios for Social and Cultural Change: Bildung through Academic Teaching (Anja Kraus / Lara Rodríguez Sieweke)
  • Artistic Research – In Practice
  • Mensch im Museum: Description and Deliberation in Four Performances (Ellen Kobe)
  • Displacement and Educational Potentials in Ellen Kobe’s FLORA PFLÜCKT WILDE BLUMEN (Lara Rodríguez Sieweke)
  • Humanism and Democracy as Learning Scenarios
  • Is Tacit Knowledge Communicable? (Peter Baumgartner / Isabell Grundschober)
  • Globalization, Interculturality and Interdependence as Learning Scenarios
  • Educating Responsible Citizens. Intercultural Competence and Aesthetic Education (Katarina Elam / Marie-Louise Hansson Stenhammar / Tarja Karlsson Häikiö / Feiwel Kupferberg / Rasoul Nejadmehr / Margareta Wallin Wictorin)
  • Performance, Competence and Diversity: Visual Knowledge Productions in Art Education (Perspectives from the Research Project Creative Unit FaBiT) (Maria Peters / Christina Inthoff)
  • Cultural, Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the School Playground (Stela Maris Ferrarese Capettini)
  • Reflection and Attention: Considerations on The Importance of Perception in the Contexts of Pedagogical Reflection in Art Education (Katja Böhme)
  • Diversity and Gender as Learning Scenarios
  • Myth to Reality: Reflexive Body Practices and Textile Art Processes in Education in the Context of (Un-)Doing Gender (Anne-Marie Grundmeier / Maud Hietzge)
  • Things That Matter: Acquiring Knowledge Through Self-Organized Artistic and Cultural Activities (Hanne Seitz)
  • Visual Culture and Media as Learning Scenarios
  • Media Abstinence – Why Less Is More: An Essay (Aloisia Moser)
  • Media and Cultural Education – A Means to Social Cohesion in a Multicultural (Media)World (Michael Waltinger)
  • Individual Creativity and Its Impact on the Co-Construction of Ideas (Barbara Vollmer / Dietrich Dörner / Sibylle Rahm)
  • Sensitive Threshold – Awakening Aspects of the Corporeal-Auditive Reflexivity of Teenagers in the Classroom (Anja Kraus)
  • Index of Authors
  • Series Index

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Anja Kraus and Lara Rodríguez Sieweke

Introduction: Learning Scenarios for Social and Cultural Change: Bildung through Academic Teaching

Research on the university within the humanities and cultural and educational sciences is relatively rare and has been mostly neglected in the general discourses on it (e.g., see Heinrich 1987, Hug 1996, Bourdieu 2002, and Derrida 2004). Among other disciplines, the arts have had representatives such as Beuys, Böll, Staeck and Eliasson, who have been involved in both the conceptualization and creation of universities. The latter takes up the importance of the experiment. In Eliasson’s words, “by engaging in experimentation we can challenge the norms we live by.1” Eliasson, supported by the Berlin University of the Arts, founded the Institut für Raumexperimente e.V. (Institute for Spatial Experiments), a project which collaborated with numerous international universities and institutions, and aimed at investigating various “learning situations of uncertain certainty.” Furthermore, the institute aimed to integrate a “multiplicity of voices” and to establish “a school of questions rather than of answers.”

We depart from the fundamental idea of the university as being deeply connected to the ideal of Bildung, and to cultural (democratic) values. However, there are some unmistakable signs that contemporary humanists have not quite succeeded in explaining why Bildung and culture are decisive for the development of society. If the university should serve as an open space to develop democracy and to meet the huge social, cultural and ecological challenges of today, then one has to constantly and critically review the approaches to education from the different disciplines. Thus, the approaches exhibited in this anthology come from a wide range of knowledge forms constituting diverse knowledge formats.

The outstanding fields of challenge for academic education, or the selected “learning scenarios” that will be featured here are globalization, interculturality, and interdependence; humanism and democracy; diversity and gender; visual culture and media; and in relation to this, artistic research. These areas already imply certain perspectives on Bildung and cultural values. Our joint concern is to take ← 7 | 8 → into account the teaching initiatives that are directed to meeting the challenges arising in these fields. Therefore, we have encouraged proposals from the various fields of research – such as media education, art and aesthetic education, philosophy, ethnology, physical education, performance art and gender – that contribute to transforming the practical significance of their approaches into knowledge for university education. These can also be initiatives in the field of school education. By investigating different cultural archives and approaches to learning, multiple simultaneous and concurring claims of reality, experience, and meaning can be mapped in order to model university education on Bildung.

Many of the anthology’s participants have shared their perspectives in the international conference “Education is Relation Not Output? Scenes of Knowledge and Knowledge Acquisition” held in May 2016 at Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, and organized by Anja Kraus. Their proposals, while connected to their own areas of expertise, are in line with Eliasson: They pose questions rather than answers; they depart from situations of uncertainty; and they experiment.

The authors of this introduction, themselves coming from different fields, respectively pedagogy and philology, were struck, during the editing of this book, by how the representatives of the different disciplines seemed to share similar concerns, echoing the same references and often citing one another in their contributions. There is community in this diversity, and in fact, many of the authors are members of Tacit Dimensions of Teaching and Learning2, a scientific network that endeavors to grasp the various and interrelated aspects of knowledge – including those that challenge articulation – and study their impact on pedagogy.

Artistic approaches set this anthology in motion, first with an intriguing voice from the contemporary art scene: Ellen Kobe recounts how her two roles as artist and curator influence each other in a symbiotic fashion, both hindering and enriching her artistic vocation. She presents some performances in which she “performs” her role as a curator, but describing artworks that are markedly absent. Through this recreation, she transforms what is familiar and monotonous, in this way calling attention to, among other things, the standardized operational processes of museums and how the verbal and non-verbal are used to communicate art.

Her art is further explored and interpreted by Lara Rodríguez Sieweke, who focuses on the educational potentials that Kobe’s strategic use of “displacement” may bring about, particularly in her video artwork FLORA PFLÜCKT WILDE BLUMEN (2012), which engages in dialogue with Botticelli’s world-renowned ← 8 | 9 → painting Primavera. The author especially observes how the aspects of space, time and gender are affected by this displacement of an artwork into a new context, and calls attention to how this raises multiple open-ended questions and interpretations, and encourages reflexive thought.

How to communicate the incommunicable? Working with humanism and democracy as a learning scenario, Peter Baumgartner and Isabell Grundschober are concerned with how informal learning or tacit knowledge can be communicated and validated. The authors endeavor to show how informal learning – the learning that happens in our daily life-experiences – is often overlooked and is justifiably in need of its own form of validation. Thus, the authors propose some ideas concerning the validation of tacit knowledge and introduce a model of validation used by the University of Chester.

The learning scenario of globalization, interculturality and interdependence has a strong presence in this anthology. The multidisciplinary team of authors (Katarina Elam, Marie-Louise Hansson Stenhammar, Tarja Karlsson Häikiö, Feiwel Kupferberg, Rasoul Nejadmehr, and Margareta Wallin Wictorin) behind “Educating Responsible Citizens. Intercultural Competence and Education” who start this section, express the necessity for a shift in perspectives and for surmounting Eurocentrism. What tools can be used to develop intercultural competence and to overcome the obstacles that stand in its way? The authors propose aesthetic education as being vital in promoting intercultural competence, highlighting the capacity of literature and particularly art, to aid in facilitating intercultural encounters and in developing empathy, which they describe as the core of intercultural competence.

Maria Peters and Christina Inthoff are also concerned with art education, their research project advocating the production of visual knowledge in order to encourage diverse educational perspectives, taking into account the increasingly complex cultural life of children. The portfolio they develop and exhibit in their article, KEPP (Künstlerisch-experimentelles Prozessportfolio or artistic-experimental process portfolio), focuses on process instead of result and incorporates various research fields, thus involving the students in an artistic research process that confronts them with a diversity of multidisciplinary strategies and approaches.

In Stela Maris Ferrarese Capettini’s research, interculturality and diversity are the key issues dealt with as the author zeros in on the social space of the playground, in this case, the playgrounds of schools in Neuquén, Argentina. The questions she poses are: What type of games do 5- and 9-year old children play during their class breaks? Do the boys and girls play the same or different games? Do the children of Mapuche and Romany origins practice their traditional games, or do ← 9 | 10 → they play games that belong to the globalizing culture and are heavily influenced by the mass media?

Katja Böhme remarks on the growing interest on the topic of reflection in relation to pedagogical situations. With regard to this, she proposes art teacher education as a potentially fruitful research field, and focuses on experimental situations, which are often linked to insecurity and unpredictability. How could students reflect on these types of situations? Her article on the relevance of perception in the contexts of pedagogical reflection begins with a study involving photographs taken by a school pupil and a university student. The photographs, taken from these two perspectives, are then studied in terms of their potential for reflective processes.

Under the learning scenarios of diversity and gender, Anne-Marie Grundmeier and Maud Hietzge’s contribution centers on the ever-fascinating figure of the mermaid; specifically, they study the practice of mermaiding, or wearing a costume mermaid’s tail while swimming, and explore its potential for promoting child-centered learning and creativity, particularly within aesthetic education. Some of the questions that are posed are: How can the mermaid myths transform the child’s daily reality? Can they be significant in terms of the self-representation of young girls? Can the mermaid figure help challenge societal norms on gender and diversity?

Also in this section, Hanne Seitz’s article introduces the Young Tenants (Junge Pächter) project, which sought to give Berlin youngsters the opportunity to develop their creativity and participate in cultural life by providing the tenants with vacant spaces that they themselves were responsible for. The type of learning that takes place in this kind of self-organized and informal learning situation is investigated. The practice was regarded as performative research (Seitz), and the youngsters, who were considered as co-researchers, relied on both tacit and explicit knowledge to solve problems.

The final learning scenario delineated is visual culture and media. The questions surrounding this scenario are also substantial in this anthology. Michael Waltinger begins this section by calling attention to the fundamental role that media and cultural education have in promoting social cohesion in a world that is increasingly mediatized and globalized, and in developing cultural sensitivity and cultural relativism, which allow for an understanding of other cultures without asserting own standards. Among other issues, the author discusses the uneven flows of media images that often reflect the inequalities of the world; the reinforcement of stereotypes in dominant media; and the representations of Self and Other.

Aloisa Moser’s main topic is also media education; however, her focus is on handling the quantity and quality of media with care, especially in its relation to ← 10 | 11 → child development. From a philosophical standpoint, Moser explores the development of the child in terms of language, learning to understand the world, and performing its first simple movements. Can less media be more? For the author, media – e.g. explications, tutorials, high chairs for toddlers – not only help but hamper development by discouraging the child from learning through her or his body and mind.

Tacit knowledge, in its relation to innovation and creativity, plays a significant role in Barbara Vollmer, Dietrich Dörner and Sibylle Rahm’s article. Taking into account a world that is constantly changing in a myriad of ways, entailing, among other things, disorientation, the authors appeal for creativity as a problem-solving strategy for situations of uncertainty, especially centering on learning situations in the classroom. They attempt to examine group creativity: Their case study observes how 21 participants deal with simulations that invite creativity, and they are recorded as they create ideas together.

Biographical notes

Lara Rodríguez Sieweke (Volume editor)

Lara Rodríguez Sieweke is an assistant researcher in the Department of Education at Linnaeus University, Sweden. Her research interests are Intermedia Studies, English Literature, and Art Mediation.

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Title: Learning Scenarios for Social and Cultural Change