The School of the Art Institute of Chicago – Art Education
Cultural Approaches to Production 4100/6100
Spring 2009, Wednesday 6-9 pm, 3 credits
Drea Howenstein, 312.629.6598 w, Office: Sharp 713, hrs T-W-TH 1:00-4:00 pm, and by appointment, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course provides a studio/seminar context for the investigation of various social, political, ecological, personal, and historical forms of cultural production applicable to schools and various learning environments. This course provides an opportunity for artists and designers who are learning to become teachers to investigate various modes of cultural practice and process, in relationship to program development for diverse audiences and students with a wide spectrum of lived realities.
Artist/teachers will explore disciplines, venues, media, techniques, topics/subjects/issues, people and places, citizen actions, etc. in order to gain essential experience required to bring current art and design practices into schools and public learning environments. Class activities will investigate how to develop curriculum based upon culturally diverse artists, under-represented artists, designers and communities and local artists and collectives. We will look at social and cultural networking as a vital means to identify and connect with diverse forms of cultural production, and artists, designers and activists throughout the world.
For the purpose of this class, diversity is defined as persons with lived realities which are affected by age, cultural heritage, ethnicity, geographic location/s, economic status, resource access, education, belief systems, life experience, opportunities, abilities, health, genetics, nutrition, gender, sexual orientation, and social, political and environmental conditions, etc. Importantly, we will examine our own cultural biases in relationship to the power and authority that teachers have to define culture and influence subjective values, as well as our cultural assumptions in the context of the effectiveness of our own teaching and in our responsibility to assessing the learning of our students.
Through a combination of direct experience, course readings, fieldtrips, individual research and discussion, the class will investigate historical and contemporary contexts, and the social, political, cultural, economic and ecological dimensions to cultural production in preparation for project and curriculum development.
Class participants will identify critical issues of concern to diverse audiences as informants to the undertaking of cultural practices, cultural processes, and the production of prototypes applicable for public schools and learning environments. Students will collaborate with other students and work individually on the development of curriculum resources. Students with life experience are encouraged to take leadership in-group projects and to consult with the instructor to outline a plan to work independently on projects applicable to their interests, pre-existing knowledge, experience and competence in foundational studio skills.
All readings will be provided electronically, via the portal or as handouts. In addition to the foundational readings, optional supplemental readings on key course issues, new publications or articles relevant to individual student interests will be added to the portal throughout the semester.