Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pedagogy Conference

This weekend was a weekend intensive called "Concentric Conversations," which was part of the Pedagogy Practicum course at Otis. With only 2 more months left, which includes a thesis paper and gallery exhibition to produce, I really wish this course would have came sooner, like last semester maybe so I could absorb a little more. Alas, there is never enough time, so I am at least glad to have had the experience.

In any case, it was a lovely series of conversations with people who care deeply about various forms (institutional, art-based, community-based, individual, informal) of education. After reading a few texts my authors like Chris Robinson, Paulo Freire and Mercado, the connection between pedagogy and public practice was very clean: its about creating change by starting with personal agency. The conference also offered 2 sessions of case studies where artists and collectives (Public School, Ava Bromberg, Ultra-Red, Ashley Hunt, Slaguage) discussed their practice in relationship to pedagogy.

The personal connections that I made with my practice and pedagogy was through Freire's concepts of the "unfinished being" and "self-realization through education." These concepts reminded me why I had studied art therapy, why I had worked as an educator and what I was trying to achieve through participatory projects: individual experiences that can lead to a sense of agency and perhaps even lead to collective change.