International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Pedagogy of Failure in the Global Market

Volume 30.1   2011



An American artist and art educator discusses her experience teaching at the American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC). Students are confronted by local and international discourse about authenticity, integrity and influence. They express their frustration and anxiety about their chances for success in the global art market. The author questions the effectiveness and function of art education at the AUC, describes the atmosphere of the local Egyptian art scene and communicates teaching strategies she used in the classroom at AUC. From this experience the author proposes the need to cultivate a more experimental, flexible pedagogy that encourages art students to take risks, instead of focusing on the economic viability of their work.