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Title: Critical visual arts education : a pedagogy of conflict transformation in search of the 'moral imagination'
Author: Johnston, John
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2018
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The following portfolio is representative of my own artistic practice that combines the role of artist, educator, peace worker and researcher into one entity. The works are drawn from a back catalogue of fifty plus collaborative arts projects that has engaged with individuals and communities in different locations over the past twenty years. These works have been delivered within formal and informal educational settings. While each piece can be read as an individual artwork – collectively they talk to common issues related to visual art practice, public pedagogy and conflict transformation. I have identified four consistent themes present in the work Social Justice, Human Rights, Development Education, Democratic Education, Inclusion and Identity. My practice can be described as a socially engaged art practice. However, while I pay close attention to the aesthetics and artistic impression of my work, I place a primary importance on education by asking a simple question which often provides a myriad of highly complex answers. I ask - What is being learned? I have worked with children, young people and others who live in the midst of socio-political conflict or in societies affected by underdevelopment. This combination of experiences has enabled me to forge a deep understanding of the role of identity politics in the construction of division and conflict. I have developed what I choose to call a problem posing1 visual arts pedagogy that serves to expose and undermine the conditions that sustain such divisions. My work has uncovered an implicit interconnectivity among art practices, critical pedagogy and the concepts and practices of conflict transformation. This combination coupled with my experience in the field of peace building, has enabled me to develop a unique pedagogical form that is responsive to the context and needs of specific communities. Through the following commentary I posit this pedagogy firmly within the general discourse of peace building. The portfolio presents new knowledge that aims to inform innovative approaches to the role of the visual arts in conflict transformation and ultimately lead toward 1 Problem posing – drawing on Paulo Freire (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed: a problem posing pedagogy offers opportunities for learner and teacher to build a relationship based on critical inquiry. ii embedding such processes in the field of peace building and international diplomacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational Research ; Fine Art