Teaching in Practice

A long overdue post…

icebreaking through making name tags

At the end of June I went to the Teaching in Practice event, which was three days of Art and Design teaching staff getting together at different venues to network and talk about teaching in practice. Myself and Pat Francis had been invited to do two sessions, one on the first day as an ice-breaker and one on the second day to particularly get people thinking about the reflection-THROUGH-action that making provides.

the glue sticks came out again

One of the key formats we wanted to concentrate on was the use of postcards to focus thought, take notes and provide feedback, so everybody got a pack of postcards to utilise throughout the event, and we encouraged people to write/draw/collage their feedback down as well on self-adressed postcards, which I took home with the promise to mail them out in early September to remind people of the experience they had. (And yes, I did do that a couple of days ago.)

The first day was hosted at the New Designers 2012 exhibition, so we had the chance to see the show as well, and included a welcome by Linda Drew celebrating the launch of the Teaching in Practice event, which will hopefully become a regular feature on the HEA calendar.

Day two was taking place at the Garden Museum, a fabulous space (with some very nice food), particularly as we were lucky with the weather so the first workshop in the morning, Garden of specialist language: Ars cesura vs. art Critique led by Sarah Rowles and Giles Bunch of Q-Art, actually let us take over the garden as we explored ways of presenting work and the ‘crit’ that is often so important in teaching studio-based disciplines.

The keynote after lunch was given by Professor Juan Cruz, the director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design at Liverpool John Morres University. It was titled ‘Hunting in Packs’ and can be seen here (plus a video montage of the whole event).

The last workshop of the day was facilitated by Ellen Sims and Kirsten Hardy, and was exploring the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning. There were some insightful discussions of the new HEA framework re the new different stages of fellowship – and why we should try to get accredited!

Day three was held at the Sackler Centre at the Victoria & Albert Museum. We were treated to two keynotes, one by Mark Craweley, the director of Widening Participation and Student Progression at the University of the Arts, London with painter, educator and curator Kimathi Donkor, the other by Leanne Manfredi, the programme manager responsible for Higher Education and Creative Industries at the V&A.

After a refreshment break James Corazzo, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the University of Derby, led a workshop intriguingly titles ‘Teach less, Learn More?’ in which he explored ways of actively engaging students by making them get out there are try stuff rather than read or hear about it and stick to the drawing board.

The evening ended with the opportunity to networ as well as visiting the British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age exhibition at the V&A, as well as enjoying the Friday Late at the V&A event Un-built, which explored the interplay between architacture and the visual arts.

By the end of it I was exhausted, but I hope that it’ll be repeated next year so I can do it again! I also came home with a stack of postcards to myself (plus the feedback mentioned above), but that might be a later post.

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