reconceptualizing knowing 28july

Download Reconceptualizing Knowing 28July

Post on 18-Apr-2015

15 views

Category:

Documents

2 download

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

Paper presented at the International Society for the Education through the Arts conference, June 25-27, 2012 at the 'Art education at the cultural crossroads' conference in Cyprus. Makes a case for why knowledge needs to be reconceptualized through different frameworks of knowing and epistemologies. Argues that creativity is more important than knowledge as it is defined by the EU framework for supporting a global 'knowledge economy' by recognizing the diverse languages of which arts and culture are an essential part.

TRANSCRIPT

RE(FORMING) KNOWING: RECONCEPTUALIZING THE ROLE OF CREATIVITY IN KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMIES Teresa M. Tipton, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Anglo-American University Prague, Czech Republic teresa.tipton@aauni.com KEY WORDS: Creativity, Cultural Policy, Social Pedagogy, Innovation, Knowledgeeconomy, School Reform ABSTRACT: In Adornos letters to Walter Benjamin concerning his Arcades study, Adorno critiques Benjamins treatment of the dialectical image, concluding that his study lay in the crossroads between magic and positivism, and only theory could break the spell of its bewitchment (Adorno et. al, 1977: 129). Benjamins dialectical image was invented with the intention of fracturing the phantasmagoria of capitalist ideologies from historical narratives in order to develop the critical moment that would awaken the sleeping masses from their alienated subjectivity. Drawing upon this critique in relationship to art educations dialectical image of itself at the cultural crossroads, if theory can break the spell of an images immanence, then only epistemology can break the bonds of its dialectical catastrophe. Addressing the dialectical crossroads in art education, this paper presents an epistemological case for the reformation of knowledge and how it is accounted for in the arts. While arts and cultural education has been extensively researched for more than fifty years, the arts remain educationally marginalized and the presence of arts education specialists and programs in western public schools have been reduced. In spite of the fields sophisticated advances, there remains no major instructional systems design theory and models for teaching art. Yet, the expectations for knowledge-based economies in the US and the European Union, are driven by policies supporting innovation without addressing creativitys fundamental role in its development. Arguing that creativity has been mystified as unteachable and thus neglected instructionally, this paper advocates reforming what is considered knowledge in education through the teaching of creativity and not solely the subject matter of art. By developing instructional design theory and supporting models teaching creativity, knowledge-based outcomes through arts and cultural education are (re)cognized, establishing protocols for innovation without marginalizing the arts. Should arts and cultural educations own slogan be, teach creativity, not art. INTRODUCTION: In his unfinished Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin (1940) theorized that all objects of history contain contradictory interpretations that are unlocked by experiencing the objects without possessing them. He called such intentional juxtapositions and their interpretations dialectical images. Their purpose was to reveal the ideological content

of historical narratives in order to bring new relationships into everyday living practices and awaken a critical self-consciousness about their social conditions. As a new research methodology, Benjamins dialectical images were grounded in his argument that from the time of Descartes in the 17th century, object and subject had been divided theoretically and a new approach was needed in order to unite them. Benjamins study of the Parisian Arcades from the mid-1800s intended to show that the means of production behind the Arcades, arguably the worlds first shopping malls and the social practices that they spawned, supported the marginalization of social groups in urban spaces. He aimed to reveal the fragmentation of historical narratives and their ideologies where previous abstract conceptualizations about others became physicalized into actual geographies. His methodology intended to produce a critical moment where embedded ideologies within dialectical images were punctured and their latent catastrophe revealed, mobilizing the potential for a critical consciousness to be actualized. In Adornos letters to Walter Benjamin concerning his Arcades study, Adorno critiqued Benjamins treatment of the dialectical image as immanent, concluding that his study lay in the crossroads between magic and positivism, and only theory could break the spell of its bewitchment (Adorno et. al 1977: 129). Using Benjamins research methodology of juxtapositions across images and their dialectics regarding knowledge and its development through schooling practices, I specifically juxtapose discourses about knowledge as defined and mandated through EU-27 initiatives and policies for school reform, with those from arts and cultural education. I argue for reformulations of knowledge and creativity in order to mobilize new initiatives for actualizing both by teaching creativity as a subject. Under EU policy for supporting culture in a globalizing world, in 2007 the European Commission urged EU schools to emphasize the development of social competence. Social competence is understood as the communicative, emotional, behavioral and cognitive skills necessary to succeed in society. Social competence is highly correlated to intercultural competence, to which arts and cultural education contributes developmental skills, dispositions, and attitudes. However, social competence as developed through arts and cultural education has not been given the recognition it deserves. In addition, because culture has been narrowly aligned with the development of fine arts skills and disciplines, little is known about other forms of culture, including popular culture, and how culture operates today through social networks and uninstitutionalized environments. The purpose of this article is to move this topic out of the margins of discourse by asking how can these aspects of culture contribute to educational practice in the development of creativity and innovation and become recognized as an element of school reform? I argue that the discourses in arts education in particular have been instrumentalized as added-value in service to all other disciplinary outcomes and contributes to the form of the disciplines own mystification. And if only theory can break the spell of the dialectical images immanence as Adorno suggested, I argue that only epistemology can break the mystification of art educations own ideological structure. For that reason, I conclude that what is considered knowledge per se must be reformed through educational perspectives that teach multiple forms and modalities of

knowing, for which creativity has a fundamental role. More emphatically, should arts and cultural educations slogan be, teach creativity, not art. CONTEMPORARY KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION The new slogan for the European Union as, Innovation Union as part of its Europe 2020 campaign for a developing a smart, sustainable, and inclusive economy (http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm) follows earlier initiatives to develop a knowledge-based economy across national borders and support transnational mobility. Knowledge-production is a contemporary enterprise whose premises in the EU are based beyond the development of reason, individualism and science to the creation of new financial markets rewarding the entrepreneurial development and management of intellectual property and patents. The premises for developing knowledge-based economies in the EU are encoded into research frameworks funding primarily science and technology initiatives supporting higher education, research institutes and industry collaborations. The creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010 for coherent and compatible higher education across Europe (http://www.ehea.info/) has contributed in further emphasis on the foundational efforts of an European Science agenda. The academic disciplines of the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, have not yet been equally or adequately represented with funding for reform, nor investments in the research and development of their qualitative systems and forms of knowledge. Since 2000, reforms initiated under the Bologna Accord (1999) and the Lisbon Treaty (2010) for all schools of the EU have emphasized strengthening core competencies in mathematics, science and language. Knowledge from art - of which culture is a part, hence the term art and cultural education - remains on the periphery of institutional acceptance and practice (Sullivan 2005). Since 2008, cuts to arts and culture sectors amounting to a reduction of 25-35% of their budgets (Tuning 2012), have affected EU cultural operators and school programs alike. It should be stressed however, that budgets for culture from EU programmes were already below the EUs own policy studies recommended levels (Jcomo 2012), pointing to a larger problem that is conceptual as well as financial. The result is that EU driven school reform efforts have not given adequate investments and resources to teach the diverse languages of arts and cultural education, upon which creative competencies are based. Contributing to the further marginalization of arts and cultural education as non-essential language development is the way in which culture as a term has been narrowly interpreted through the fine arts. In EU cultural policy, culture is still defined through classical and romantic ideals in language that uses "...'cultural sensibility' and ..the awakening of a curiosity regarding the arts and our cultural inheritance, and the development of taste and a sense of quality [1]. Representing a growing trend for legislated, national standards in educational frameworks influencing other post-industrial countries, values from the eighteenth and nineteenth century can also be found in national curriculum from Australia, Great Britain, as well as the U.S.A.s National Visual Arts Standards (1994) and its curriculum model of disciplined based arts education (DBAE). Enculturation, as a goal of arts and cultural education policy and programs, is giving way to a shifting

emphasis on culture, and not the arts, for enhancing economic growth a

Recommended

View more >