Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

From the Saltmarsh and the Deershelter

Volume 30.3   2011

KEY, PAUL

 

When we think about approaches to teaching and learning in art and design education the diverse and complex role of the teacher soon becomes apparent. Teachers often find themselves working through situations which require them to shift between subject- and learner-centred approaches, where they negotiate authority and freedom in their teaching relationships. On closer inspection the tensions found in these negotiations reveal contradictions for teachers, where they try to do one thing but cannot avoid doing another. The article explores these perplexing and contradictory experiences as possible encounters where we can speculate about ourselves as teachers and discover powerful opportunities for learning. It aims to do this through the critical lens of Tubbs's (2005) ‘Philosophy of the teacher’. Tubbs's analysis provides an opportunity to closely examine the tensions in teaching approaches, and proposes the possibility of their contradiction as educational. In addition, the article explores Henri Lefebvre's ‘moments of presence’, suggesting that encounters in our lives, which appear to exist at the intersection of one thing and another, where we find ourselves experiencing a contradiction, offer exciting possibilities for teaching and learning. The article builds its ideas around landscape encounters, from the saltmarsh and the deer-shelter. It uses these encounters with landscapes to locate experiences of contradiction, and to work out how a teacher could respond.