MIXING PEDAGOGICAL COCKTAILS: Juicing Apples, Oranges and Limes

Robyn Tudor
2010 Conference

MIXING PEDAGOGICAL COCKTAILS: Juicing Apples, Oranges and Limes Dr. Robyn Tudor Director of Learning & Teaching Enhancement, College of Fine Arts UNSW Revisiting ‘tertiary education’ in Australian art and design disciplines is a journey back to the future for those with long memories. Metaphorically, bartenders who serve creative imbibers potentially hold secret recipes for mixing perfect cocktails that satisfy the sweet spot. Over more than a century, in Australia as elsewhere, practice-based art and design studies evolved a continuum that ultimately links kindergarten with doctoral investigations. With passion, persistence and practice, wooden blocks become skyscrapers, mud pies become vessels, scribbles become evocative sketches of innovative ideas, and so it goes in lives lived creatively. Playrooms, schools, community centres, colleges and universities exist primarily as meeting places to congregate and partake of the fountain of knowledge and immerse in new experiences, to look differently at the world, and engage in all manner of intellectual, textual and material conversations to do with meaning-making in art, craft and design. Regulatory edicts notwithstanding, educators devise and adapt learning experiences to teaching contexts, balancing off needs, expectations, changing ‘tastes’ and ‘predilections’ of differing practitioners, professions and technological, social, sectoral or institutional interests. According to John Dewey,1 tension between intrinsic and instrumental values in creative arts education involves using ‘practical judgment’ to reconcile ‘means’ and ‘ends’. Scaffolding2 higher order creative capability development across school, vocational college and university arts curricula could transcend the divide between school, vocational college and university program offerings. The real challenge is avoiding conformity through compliance, whilst striving for pedagogical renewal to restore meaningful lifelong creative learning pathways accessing different education contexts. 1 Dewey, J (1934) Art as Experience, in Boydston, J.A. (Ed) (1981) Later Works, 1925-1953, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. 2 Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; and Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman, Eds.) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

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About the author

Dr Robyn Tudor Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales COFA Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement – Academic Fellow implementing strategic university priorities for quality enhancement of learning, teaching, scholarship and research.