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At the heart of art and earth : an exploration of practices in arts-based environmental education

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.advisor Østergaard, Edvin, Prof., Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, Section for Learning and Teacher Education, Norway en
dc.contributor.advisor Varto, Juha, Prof., Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art, Finland en
dc.contributor.author Boeckel, Jan van
dc.date.accessioned 2014-08-30T09:00:13Z
dc.date.available 2014-08-30T09:00:13Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-60-5146-8 (electronic)
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-60-5145-1 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4942 (electronic)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4934 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn 1799-4934 (ISSN-L)
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/13918
dc.description.abstract In today’s technological world, human intertwinement with the rest of nature has been severely diminished. In our digital culture, many people hardly have any direct experience of and sense of connection with “the real” of the natural world. The author assumes that when we want to find ways to mend this gap, arts-based environmental education (AEE) can play a meaningful role. In AEE, artmaking is regarded as itself a way of potentially gaining new understandings about our natural environment. As a reflective practitioner, the author facilitated three different AEE activities, at several times and at diverse locations. On basis of his observations, memories, written notes, audio-visual recordings and interviews with participants, teachers and informed outsiders, he interpreted the experiences both of participants and himself. To this end he employed interpretative phenomenological analysis paired with autoethnography. The artmaking activities researched here aimed to bring about a shift in focus. Participants were encouraged to approach natural phenomena not head-on, but in an indirect way. Moreover, the artmaking process aspired to heighten their awareness to the presence of their embodied self at a certain place. The research questions that the author poses in this study are: (1) What is distinctive in the process of the AEE activities that I facilitate?; (2) Which specific competencies can be identified for a facilitator of AEE activities?; and (3) Does participating in the AEE activities that I facilitate enhance the ability of participants to have a direct experience of feeling connected to the natural world? In this explorative study, the author identifies facilitated estrangement through participating in AEE as an important catalyst when aiming to evoke such instances of transformative learning. In undergoing such moments, participants grope their wayin a new liminal space. Artmaking can create favorable conditions for this to happen through its defamiliarizing effect which takes participants away from merely acting according to habit (on “autopilot”). The open-ended structure of the artmaking activities contributed to the creation of a learning arena in which emergent properties could become manifest. Thus, participants could potentially experience a sense of wonder and begin to acquire new understandings – a form of knowing that the author calls “rudimentary cognition.” The research further suggests that a facilitator should be able to bear witness to and hold the space for whatever enfolds in this encounter with artistic process in AEE. He or she must walk the tightrope between control and non-interfering. The analysis of the impacts of the AEE activities that were facilitated leads the author to conclude that it is doubtful whether these in and of themselves caused participants to experience the natural environment in demonstrable new and deep ways. He asserts that most of their awareness was focused on the internal level of their own embodied presence; engagement with place, the location where the AEE activity was performed, seemed secondary. The findings show that AEE activities first and foremost help bring about the ignition and augmentation of the participants’ fascination and curiosity, centered in an increased awareness of their own body and its interactions with the natural world. The present study can be seen as a contribution to efforts of envisaging innovative forms of sustainable education that challenge the way we have distanced ourselves from the more-than-human world. en
dc.format.extent 420
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Aalto University en
dc.publisher Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.relation.ispartofseries Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 73/2013
dc.subject.other Art education en
dc.subject.other Education en
dc.title At the heart of art and earth : an exploration of practices in arts-based environmental education en
dc.type G4 Monografiaväitöskirja fi
dc.contributor.school Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Arts, Design and Architecture en
dc.contributor.department Taiteen laitos fi
dc.contributor.department Department of Art en
dc.subject.keyword art education en
dc.subject.keyword environmental education en
dc.subject.keyword art en
dc.subject.keyword environment en
dc.subject.keyword educational methods en
dc.subject.keyword taidekasvatus fi
dc.subject.keyword ympäristökasvatus fi
dc.subject.keyword taide fi
dc.subject.keyword ympäristö fi
dc.subject.keyword opetusmenetelmät fi
dc.identifier.urn URN:ISBN:978-952-60-5146-8
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.type.ontasot Doctoral dissertation (monograph) en
dc.type.ontasot Väitöskirja (monografia) fi
dc.contributor.supervisor Pohjakallio, Pirkko, Prof., Aalto University, School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, Finland en
dc.opn Kagan, Sacha
dc.date.defence 2013-08-16

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