Which is first an egg or a hen children as creators receivers makers explorers
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Which is First, an Egg or a Hen? Children as Creators, Receivers, Makers, Explorers. Panel discussion at Kedja Kuopio Eeva Anttila 16.6.2009 [email protected] There is an artist in all of us… (J. Highwater 1981, 15). Starting point: the holistic nature of children’s life world

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Which is First, an Egg or a Hen? Children as Creators, Receivers, Makers, Explorers

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Which is first an egg or a hen children as creators receivers makers explorers

Which is First, an Egg or a Hen? Children as Creators, Receivers, Makers, Explorers

Panel discussion at Kedja Kuopio

Eeva Anttila

16.6.2009

[email protected]


There is an artist in all of us j highwater 1981 15

There is an artist in all of us…(J. Highwater 1981, 15)

  • Starting point: the holistic nature of children’s life world

  • Art, learning, and everyday life blend

  • Artistic experience and everyday experience blend

  • Art can be anywhere and everywhere

  • It can also be nowhere even when participating in an art context!


Arts education

Arts + Education = ?

  • Arts education is something different than art and education put together

  • It is a metaphorical place where the person encounters a transformative experience that speaks to her/him on a different level than regular learning experiences (prereflective, emotional, bodily, sensory levels)

  • These experiences are personally meaningful, thus:

  • Arts education is a place for personally meaningful, transformative experiences that have an aesthetic component


Postmodern arts education

Postmodern arts education

  • Dialogical

  • Interactive

  • Collective

  • Non-hierarchical

  • Multicultural

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Local

  • Particular

  • Diverse

  • Interested in “small” stories vs. universal truths


Artistic quality in arts education

Artistic quality in arts education

  • The quality of experience

  • The quality of proces

  • The quality of product

    in relation to:

  • Technique, skill

  • Presence

  • Commitment

  • Articulation

  • Meaning


Process matters

Process matters…

  • The way an art work is created is reflected in the work itself

  • A predetermined, controlled process produces a closed form with a single meaning

  • A process with no predetermined aims leads to an open form that bears multiple meanings

  • An open form is dialogical and opens multiple possibilities to see and understand it (compare to postmodern view)

  • A closed form represents or repeats one interpretation of reality (compare to modern view)

    (Liisa Ikonen 2006, pp. 20-21)


Making choices

Making choices

  • Learning to make choices and aesthetic judgement is in the core of arts education

  • It entails perceiving qualitative differences and subtle nuances

  • It involves interpretive, reflective processes, also dialogue, articulation and negotiation


Challenges and motivation for dance artists and educators

Challenges - and motivation - for dance artists and educators

  • Working through an open -interactive, dialogical, nonhierarhical - process with children and youngsters is a challenge

  • Emphazising presence, commitment and meaningful, transformative experiences may bring a very satisfying end result artistically, as well

  • Suspending own vision and being open to participants’ ideas may generate new and fresh artistic qualities and outcomes

  • The result may be different than the original ”vision”, but not necessarily for the worse


To close

To close…

  • The kind of dance that we value informs our artistic and educational practices, but it is also connected to the kind of world we want to live in

  • Arts education can (and should) inform general education

  • Enhancing collaborative creative processes and surprising outcomes makes space for new knowledge, cultural understanding, transformation instead of transmission

  • This kind of approaches challenge the modernist conception on education

  • Joining art and education can transform both: a cultural, postmodern view on education


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