In 2005 the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths introduced a new Masters programme entitled Artist Teachers and Contemporary Practice. This full and part-time higher degree programme has proved to be very successful and has over-recruited since its inception. It has established a new form of practice and enquiry within visual art and education and builds upon a long and established tradition at Goldsmiths within art and education. A central purpose of the MA is to facilitate a critical dialogue between art practice and pedagogical practice so as to enable an expanded understanding of both domains in order to promote learning and how this might be conceived and developed. This interrogative approach to learning intends to invoke a critical attitude towards personal and communal learning and raises issues of equality and emancipation.
Many MA students and former students as well as teachers, gallery educators and community educators have expressed a strong desire to continue and intensify their studies and critical engagement with art practices and pedagogies at research level. The MPhil/PhD in Art Practice and Learning has been developed in relation to this need and provides a critical research study programme that builds upon the successful rationale of the existing Artist-Teacher MA.
What kind of learning emerges from art practice and how does such learning further impact upon art practice? This reflexive question lies at the heart of the MPhil/PhD in Art and Learning programme. The programme aims to promote research into dialogical relations between pedagogical and art practices; a central purpose is to expand understanding of what both can become. The programme anticipates that through an exploration and interrogation of the dialogical relations between art practices and pedagogies, sites of practice and sites of learning students will engage with areas such as philosophical, political and aesthetic dimensions of learning and practice.
The outcomes of the research will consist of a practice component and a written thesis of 50K words which articulate a coherent and integrated research study in which both components are viewed equally as contributing to the research. The written component must be able to demonstrate a clearly articulated research project and a rigorous theoretical engagement with the research focus, drawing upon, analysing and applying relevant literature. The practice component must demonstrate an exploration and articulation of the research focus that draws upon domains of practice including visual or other practices to inform the research. The practice component could, for example, take the form of an exhibition, a film/video (approximately 1 hour in length), an installation, a web-based production, a performance, a participatory work, a sonic work or performance.
A key feature of the Art and Learning programme is that students will form a research community that meets regularly each term to discuss/share/debate research and ideas; to discuss readings and art practice. These research meetings will be held at Goldsmiths or in galleries or other contexts and will involve invited artists, academics and other contributions.
In recent years the so called ‘educational turn’ in art practice, critical theory and museology has elided the worlds of art practice and pedagogy in that many artists or art collectives are engaging in pedagogical practices as art practice. (Examples such as the work of Rainer Ganahl, Andrea Fraser, Tino Seghal, Irit Rogoff, A.C.A.D.E.M.Y. (2008)). Almost in parallel to these art practices, galleries and museums have extended their educational practices and learning programmes to involve youth communities, outreach and other groups. Equally within more traditional educational institutions art practices have reconfigured the ways in which children and older students learn and engage with practice (in schools: Room 13, KOS; in gallery education: Raw-Canvas, in community education: Culture in Action)
The development of these art-pedagogy practices provides an opportunity to make a critical analysis of the dialogue between art practice and pedagogy in order to further understanding of how we conceive each domain and their intra-relation and of how we might conceive learning communities. It is important to register immediately that the term pedagogy is NOT restricted to the field of school or university pedagogies but embraces a much wider notion of the facilitation and exploration of learning on a personal and communal level; how, for example, might we understand the idea of a learning community? Part of the programme could involve students working collaboratively in community sites or gallery locations which have established traditions of artists engaging with communities to explore the potential of practice and learning for rethinking the notion of community.
How has the dialogue between art practice and its pedagogical possibilities changed over the years? This question draws in a more detailed analysis of subjectivity, practice and community in relation to art practices and learning, in other words how these have been produced historically and how their relations have formed and evolved.
The Department of Educational Studies has the theoretical and practical resources to support the anticipated research and it is able to draw upon important alliances and relations with cultural institutions with whom it has worked over many years, including for example, Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, Showroom Gallery, 198 Gallery and Iniva.
The programme draws upon a team of dedicated staff in Educational studies who are committed to developing this research; it will also draw upon part-time contributions from artists of national and international standing who already contribute to the MA Artist-Teacher Programme.
The programme is offered for full-time or part-time study and appropriate facilities will be provided.
To be accepted on this programme a student will normally require a degree at Masters level.
Students taking the PhD would be required to submit work for upgrading after approximately two years. The work submitted should consist of a thesis outline plus two draft chapters and a detailed exemplification of the practice component.
All students are allocated two supervisors within the Department but joint-supervision with colleagues in other Departments who have expertise relevant to the student’s research may also be possible. All students will be expected to attend Department research training and College research training and to participate whenever possible in Department research centre meetings.
Application forms can be obtained on-line from the Goldsmiths Graduate School website or applicants can contact Myrna Felix, m.felix (@gold.ac.uk), the Research Administrator in the Department of Educational Studies . Application forms must be accompanied with a 2/3 page research proposal. For more detailed information or general enquiries please contact Professor Dennis Atkinson, d.atkinson (@gold.ac.uk).
Interviews will explore the research focus and its theoretical framing as well as recent art practice of applicants.
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
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