María Acasos “La educatión artística no son manualidades. Nuevas prácticas en la enseñanza de las artes y la cultura visual.” (2009/2014) is not yet available in english. I thought I’d give a small insight – for those who do not read spanish, might geht an idea of it. It is demanding for me to write about a spanish publication in english. Sorry for every misreading/miswriting in advance. A text by María Acaso on artEducation in english is published in “What’s next? Art Education“. And here´s an interview on “The Art Educator’s Talk” in German & Spanish. María Acaso is currently working at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, she is part of the group pedagogías invisibles (amongst many other things); here you find more about her work.
Now, let´s read:
This is how the book starts. Please note the copyright, which is more likely to be a creative common. It then starts with the question, why we are all having an idea of teaching in our heads that is different to the notion of explaining something to someone.
on teaching (enseñar)
This idea of changing the idea of teaching as something that is a) given by one person and b) processed by another one, travels within the book. In chapter 7, the remark by Elisabeth Ellsworth, that teaching (depending on the way we think this teaching) is impossible. Acaso develops 4 theses on this: (p. 178 ff.), in which she points out that the unknown is an important factor, that curricula are a representative system and therefore not do not reflect reality, that the term “knowledge” or “literacy” needs to be discussed, and that education is a performative process and therefore not to be seen as practice that can be terminated.
Another topic I´d like to highlight (there is so much to highlight..) is the actualization of the things, art classes are about. Regarding new medias (which aren’t new anymore), images (such as by Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna etc.) but also the current topics that contemporary art deals with, there is a gap – that raises a lot of questions. (p. 87 ff.) And ultimately, “If visual art education is not transformed in an area of contemporary knowledge, its own obsolescence will eliminate it.”
what we are really doing vs. what we think we are doing
Last thing I´d like to mention is an example María Acaso makes, which I think is quite important to think about. She mentions the painting “Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” by Peter Paul Rubens, which is often used to explain (cross) composition which expresses dynamic (p. 140). At the same time, this painting is showing an act of violence. How can we separate one information from the other, and, more important, do we do that while we are teaching? (And if so, who decides which information is more important than the other?)
Maria Acaso published several books. I´ll try to keep you updated while reading them.
Even better: We could discuss them. Looking forward to this!