Teaching and Learning
The goal of our research area is to document, analyze, and reimagine teaching practices that will support and inspire the next generations of practitioners, artists and scholars in Canada. To do so, our Teaching and Learning team is:
1. Mapping existing programs
2. Theorizing pedagogical approaches, and identifying challenges and opportunities embedded in concepts and methods, and
3. Piloting approaches to teaching and learning in local initiatives.
The team’s mapping exercise identified major programs of study in the field of Art For Social Change in Canada. (For more information, see State of the ART: A Report on Social Change in Canada, April 2016). ASC! Collaborator ArtBridges’ website provides listings of long and short term training opportunities for ASC practitioners.
We analyzed twenty in-depth interviews with long-time practitioner-pedagogues across Canada (four of which are the case studies within the ASC! Research project). The analysis, drawing on relevant literature, highlights how policy, and institutional structures offer both support and challenges for teaching and learning in ASC. Further, we explore the theoretical foundations of the pedagogical approaches that the interviews reference – in particular, dialogic, embodied and mentorship approaches. This analytical work will help support current best practices, but can also point to new contexts in which training can occur, and methods that potentially suit such contexts. (Coming soon: Jerke, L. and Doolittle, L. (2018). Pedagogy, Activism and Art: An analysis of teaching and learning Art for Social Change)
A sustained case study and a community of practice allowed the team to focus on how arts for social change could be fostered in a small city, where few resources existed to support this work. The case study explored the teaching of dance and theatre in/as disability advocacy in community-based workshops and in a sustained community-university partnership. Community Partners included Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association, Inclusion Lethbridge and South Region Self Advocates Network. The community of practice sought to connect potential and existing facilitators and teachers with ASC resources and with each other.
By identifying existing opportunities for learning, by considering ways in which current pedagogical approaches may both serve and limit the field, and by supporting research into new ASC teaching and learning alternatives, the Teaching and Learning team’s contributions seek to foster long term sustainability and quality work in Art for Social Change in Canada.