*This page includes exemplary work by students in art and education courses I have taught. The presentation abstract on this page was generated from a capstone project within Masters Seminar during the Fall of 2008. Enjoy!
Pedagogy and Artistry: The Endless Quest for Knowledge and Meaning-Making
Presented at the Adelphi University School of Education Capstone Project Presentation: 2008, by Amanda Signorelli, '09: MA in Art Education at Adelphi University.
There are several different methods of teaching and learning that one is exposed to throughout life. The quest for knowledge and meaning-making begins at birth, and is a search that is never-ending, never to be fully actualized. Within each of us exists an innate desire to express ourselves through creative endeavors. The arts have always lent themselves to this pursuit in such a way that is unlike any other subject in the typical day-to-day curriculum. Freedom of expression and an outpouring of imagination and creativity is what I seek for myself, and my students. I believe in the process of art making, and the simple joy it brings to have yourself flow with an art piece.
For my master’s thesis project, I have chosen to study a particular school of thought in regards to education and art. Reggio Emilia is a child-centered philosophy that bases itself on the premise that the voice of the student is of equal importance as the teacher. This philosophy addresses the 100 languages through which children express themselves, and learn. I believe that this remains true throughout life, that we are constantly looking for different ways in which to communicate our innermost thoughts and feelings. Reggio Emilia also uses metaphors in which to articulate different methods of teaching and learning, one of which is “Walking Towards Knowledge”. This strikes a chord deep within me, because I truly believe learning is a non-linear process, a destination which is ever-changing, ever-evolving. As we walk towards knowledge, I feel that we should occasionally stop, look around, and absorb our surroundings, really taking the time to allow everything to sink in, to process. Furthermore, we need to be active participants; there is more to learning than asking, listening, and walking. There is creation, expression, formulating ideas into the visual. Art should not be considered an ephemeral, disposable act. Creation allows us to be as interpretive and expressionistic as we wish, the imagination can run wild, and a finished art piece has limitless possibilities.
As I begin to embark on my lifelong journey of being an art educator, I am filled with an outpouring of emotions. I wish to instill in my students a joy and love of the arts, and to offer to them an open and welcoming environment where their creativity and imagination will be able to run free. I want my students to open up their minds, to perceive the world from the artists’ eye, and to be able to translate this visually into something tangible, something that they can understand and have a deep personal attachment to, by learning how to manipulate different mediums and translating it into an art piece. The universe awaits, and it’s ours to explore.