After what felt like an age, but equally a long time coming we resumed this week with an introduction to our Self-initiated Projects.
Since starting the PgCert at the start of the year this is the unit I have been looking forward to most. It offers a space for me to ask questions and explore methodologies that I have encountered over the summer and will continue to do so over the coming month.
Thinking about my subject/question of choice has been a difficult one. over recent years my sentences have increasingly started with ‘why’ or ‘how’ in search of an answer that goes some way in starting a lengthier dialogue which increases and expands my bank of knowledge. Since starting this journey teaching in HE environments I have learnt much which has gone a long way in helping to analyse and compartmentalise my own personal experiences in art school. after a few experiences over the summer, I have increasingly become fascinated with a question “why teach?”.
We all understand the importance of teaching – when done in the right way and what it can afford the students on the receiving end. But taking into account that one size does not fit all when it comes to teaching large quantities of students I am also interested in the motivations of the individuals who set about imparting learning, or better so, creating a shared learning environment.
As part of the pre-session task, we were asked to fill out a form online outlining details about our current teaching practice/context and the initial ideas that we had alongside some links from readings, videos and photographs to provide context for these ideas. I feel that I struggled with this initially as I had many ideas about what I would like to explore alongside a multitude of methodologies which I wasn’t quite sure how they would all come together to form a coherent enquiry.
As an undergrad student, I had always been fascinated by modernism. The German school of Bauhaus stood out like a beacon of what we might want to achieve in arts education. On countless occasions, Bauhaus and the word radical have been linked in the same sentence which is still relevant in the context of the modern day art school and how we continue to use art as a tool for having difficult social conversations.
My initial worries about how things would come together and what area I would focus were quickly countered through conversation with those in my PBL (problem-based learning) groups and sharing my ideas out loud. I quickly realised that I had quite a clear idea of what I would like to focus on which was the school of Bauhaus and its pedagogies.
During the session, we were encouraged to create a context map which started to expand and explore the central themes we may have been holding to start the process of formulating questions.
I found this process extremely useful as it freed up space in my mind to continue to make more connections and ask additional questions. It can often be difficult to hold multiple trains of thought in the mind and contextualise it.
We were asked to think of initial questions before being asked to move around the room and view the other maps that people had created, have conversations and leave questions in response which was also helpful as many people had additional points of references and helpful resources to expand the search.
However, this comment below was one of most significance as it prompted me to think about the origins. no matter how well known we may believe something to be, there are still many out there who aren’t aware of the school of Bauhaus. This is something that I would like to explore further – does it matter that people don’t know what Bauhaus is? is Bauhaus still relevant?