Teaching and Learning
The Teaching and Learning team’s contributions sought to foster long term sustainability and quality work in Art for Social Change (ASC) in Canada by:
1. Mapping to identify existing opportunities for learning;
2. Fieldwork and Theorizing to consider ways in which current pedagogical approaches may both serve and limit the field;
3. Connecting practitioners, teachers, learners with research into ASC teaching and learning alternatives.
The team’s mapping exercise identified major programs of study in the field of ASC in Canada. (For more information, see State of the ART: A Report on Social Change in Canada, April 2016). Our website Directory contains a listing of Training and Education opportunities across Canada. ArtBridges’ website also provides further listings.
Along with the practice of ASC, this research advocated for teaching and learning in arts for social change (ASC) as a valuable mechanism for tackling major social issues at the personal, social, and political levels.
With a five-year field study and a networking community of practice, the team focused on how arts for social change could be fostered in a small city, where few resources existed to support this work.
Unlimited explored the teaching of dance and theatre in/as disability advocacy in community-based workshops and in a sustained community-university partnership. Community partners included Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association, Inclusion Lethbridge, and South Region Self Advocates Network.
For more about Unlimited: videos, Limitless and Unlimited; and a journal article, May I have this Dance,Teaching performing and transforming in a university-community mixed-ability dance theatre project.
We interviewed 18 people with extensive experience teaching ASC in Canada, in institutions and in community settings. We explored the theoretical foundations of their pedagogical approaches – in particular, dialogic, embodied and mentorship approaches. Common goals of education in ASC include:
- individual consciousness-raising on social justice issues;
- creative development;
- and arts and community engagement skills training, enabling learners to participate effectively in, and ultimately create and implement complex ASC projects.
Our analysis revealed that the impact of teaching and learning in ASC has far-reaching effects. It sparks change at the individual level, at the community level where it connects students, those experiencing the social justice issues being addressed, and the teachers themselves and at the policy level, influencing the publicly funded institutions and organizations that host educational programs and projects.
The Art/Act community of practice connected potential and existing facilitators and teachers with ASC resources and with each other.