Teaching Art Education At TOGI

From a very young age, I have been aware of inequality and poverty with the effect thereof on the development of a nation. Deeply convinced of education as a solution to most of the problems in our country, I embarked on a career in education, firmly believing that I could make a change. With an insatiable hunger to know more, I curiously did research on learning and whilst busy with a Cognitive Psychology module as part of my BA, I probed deeper into the various learning theories. Searching even deeper, convinced of the Humanities as an avenue for thinking, imagining and dreaming, my journey steered towards education through, in and because of art, due to the rich variety of learning that can be experienced through art.

I read the earlier writings on art education and later that of Maxine Greene (1995): Releasing the Imagination as well as Eisner (2002) The arts and the creation of mind and came to an understanding that art education offers processes that enables holistic learning. Learning theories such as Constructivism, Experiential learning, Discovery learning, Meta-cognition, Brain-based learning, Cognitive theory of learning, Problem-solving, The Whole Brain Model, Variations in learning and thinking styles, Multi-modality and Multiple Intelligences became part of my field of study. I believe that there are ways of knowledge acquisition and processing other than the traditional, and that innovation and divergent thinking can address the challenges of the future. Furthermore, I am constantly aware of the fact that in the times we live in, we are dealing with a new kind of knowledge and a new kind of learner.

My philosophy of teaching art is based on the development of mind that is possible and within reach of all students. The cognitive, aesthetic, perceptual, emotional/spiritual, social, manipulative, appreciative aspects of their personalities will develop as they learn how to teach art to children in school by means of practical experiences, visual literacy and theoretical/didactical work. I always bear in mind that they are not art students, but that they are being prepared as educators in primary schools, therefore, the didactics of art education and child development and learning always informs practical and theoretical tasks.

TOGI Academic

Dr Georina Westraadt