A Pedagogy-in-Process: The Artist Teacher in the Feminist Classroom
- Master Education in Arts
This research project aims to reflect on my pedagogical approach and my role as an artist-teacher working at both the Willem de Kooning Academy Photography and Fine Art department, a position in which I teach from my own artistic perspective, bringing multiple experiences as a self-employed artist to the classroom.
A Pedagogy-in-Process: The Artist Teacher in the Feminist Classroom is a qualitative and active research based on four pillars that intersect: Voice (conversation about the use of voice and silence in the classroom), Collaboration (looking at what we teach and how we teach together with other artists), Positioning (as an teacher facilitator using different methods, sensibilities and teaching materials), and Archive (creating interventions with existing materials) in, so called, experimental exchanges.
The starting point for this research is the continuously under- and misrepresentation of women artists, women artists of colour, non-binary and genderqueer artists in art education. Myself being raised in systems of Western European viewpoints, my education was dominated by white, male, and west which left me with an inability to cite outside of this specific framework which therefore makes me prone to continue to add to a discourse of exclusion. This realisation led me to approach my teaching as a form of counter teaching. As an artist teacher I feel it is my obligation to create space instead of take space within ‘my’ classroom, a classroom in which care and tenderness are equally important to craftsmanship and artist persona.
Unlike educational models that emphasise on competition, solitary study and teacher authority feminist pedagogy focuses on transformative learning. Turning teaching into making activities, with other(ed) materials to build praxis that acknowledge and value contribution, lives and histories and aims to create an emancipatory learning experience for students and teachers in a classroom as community and cooperation. The feminist classroom is not a place where feminist art is promoted any more than other art or artists. It is a place where feminist art or womxn artists work is no longer being nullified or only categorically inserted within the historical white-male viewpoint. Believing that art school needs to be an affirming space, embracing otherness, and providing everyone with role models while focusing on how to acknowledge ‘difference’ without translating or vilifying it. This might seem obvious and even easy but is has proved to be very challenging.
“I can’t pretend that good intentions make inherently good acts, but I now know better to not underestimate what it is we do in the classroom.”