Monday, October 31, 2005

Beginning to Write My New Philosophy

First Attempt in Fall of 2004:
Art Education is paramount to both the learner and the educator. Art is tool to be used to create a climate of understanding and sharing knowledge within any educational arena. A student of any age has the responsibility to be a learner and participant in education. The educator of any age must take on a role similar to that of a cultural worker. An educator must engage in critical thinking about the community they educate in. This is not tied only to the classroom but refers to any educational venue where there is an educator and learner relationship present. The role art education is to provide a catalyst for expression and critical thinking and transformation. In this form education cannot be standardized. It must be adapted to each learning environment and its learners. Art education including its histories and practices must be part of the core curriculum in schools and part of life for learners outside traditional educational venues. In this way learners may see the connections between art and their world and be given the opportunity to engage with a subject critically. Through art education and dialogue between learners and educators the necessary tools are present for understanding the contemporary world as well as the past. Learners and educators will then be able to think critically, respond, and change their life, community, world. – Sarah Ruthven (Educational Statement Fall 2004)

New more focused Version Fall 2005:
New methods for the teaching of art history must be pursued in an attempt to shed its patriarchal contexts and bring forward a relevant and empowering way of learning about art history. What is art history? “[Art] History is an amazing presence. It’s the place where vanished time gathers.” (O’Donahue) It is not a static list of great masters existing on an exclusive timeline or only categorized by a geo-political map. This is how art history is relevant, it is the visualization of many voices and lived experiences, it makes what is invisible and brings it forward to this time through images to make it visible to another time. Art History must also be empowering. The roles of learners and educators must combine to create an atmosphere safe for unsafe discussion. Art History is empowering when all surveyors of it mine their pasts and bring to it their own lived experiences. Art History must not be static but in flux, always adding new voices and new images.
This continually changing art history will recognize that history does not happen in a straight line, one event after another, but it is cyclical. (Efland, iv.) This new methodology for the study of art history must be studied to reflect the nature of history.


Bad Andy said...

I am not quite sure how constant change infers or necessitates cyclical. Do you mean because our experiences are changing (and differ from others) that there is a need to constantly go back and reexamine meaning and value? Or is history better represented in a eastern world view of constantly repeating itself? Are there instances of history that are isolated and disjointed?

Sarah said...

Good Question!

I am looking at history as though it often repeats itself and that cannot be expressed through linear timelines and political maps. There are I would think instances of history that are disjointed although isolated I am not so sure of.

The circle is not meant to contain history. It is rhizomatic in that topics might begin anywhere within the circle and topics may be added as well. It would be wonderful and likely to see multiple circles operating and connected together.

I am reminded of bubbles when I think of circles. Bubbles come out in spheres becuase it is the easiest shape for them to take. Forces are pushing out in all directions and those forces are represented by a round object. History is that set of multiple forces and history is the visualization of those forces. When they are all pushing out we might best discuss them in a concentric ring.

Then to break out my middle school science education one more time. When multiple circles begin working in tandem it appears to be rather cell like in nature. All connected and functioning to build this larger structure, history and the remembrance and interpretation of it. I hate to use this word but it is somewhat organic. I am working now on an example of what that might look like with a specific example.