Bec TUDOR

Visual Art Practice as Philosophical Inquiry: Expanding Pedagogic Possibilities in the Quest for a Community of Reflective Thinkers

Abstract:

The educational program ‘Philosophy for Children’ (Matthew Lipman), has been developed through the International Association for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (Montclair State University, New Jersey). It advocates transforming classrooms into ‘communities of inquiry’, to yield significant and beneficial outcomes for future societies. This vision is outwardly political, consciously optimistic, and potentially extremely powerful:

  To convert classrooms into communities of inquiry moves us beyond arguments and 
  theories into the realm of concrete actions aimed at changing the world for the better.
  (Sharp & Reed, 1992:171-172)

Yet, philosophical inquiry is understood in this program as a strictly linguistic activity – stimulated by reading and explored through conversation.

This paper asserts that the framework for fostering life-long reflective thought set-up in ‘Philosophy for Children’ is not only satisfied by the practice of art making, but also enhanced in crucial ways through physical engagement in creating (for both amateur and professional art maker). The question remains: can visual art practice be said to be a form of philosophical inquiry?

Sharp, A. M. & Reed, R. F. 1992 (eds) Studies in Philosophy for Children: Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery (Philadelphia: Temple University Press).

Download Visual Art Practice as Philosophical Inquiry: Expanding Pedagogic Possibilities in the Quest for a Community of Reflective Thinkers (80.78 KB)

Bec TUDOR:

Bec Tudor is undertaking a PhD at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania. The working title of her thesis is: ‘Visual Art, Environment and the Development of Values’. She has a Bachelor of Art (UNSW) and a Master of Art, Design & Environment (UTAS).

In 2006, Tudor exhibited in the Hobart Mountain Festival Sculpture Trail, presented at the Senses of Place conference and co-authored study guides for Sydney’s Chalk the Walk festival. Tudor is also secretary of INFLIGHT art, Tasmania’s only artist-run initiative, and presents occasional lectures in art theory and wilderness studies at the Tasmanian School of Art.