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Introduction to Good Practices

Good Practices: Teacher Training Programmes in the Spotlight is about the strength of the art teacher training programmes at ArtEZ: the bachelor courses Dance in Education, Theatre in Education, Music in Education, Fine Art and Design in Education, the Interdisciplinary Programme and the masters course Education in Arts.

Students and graduates of the ArtEZ teacher training programmes talk about special projects, good practices, in which their teaching and artistry are inextricably intertwined. What moves these artist-educators? What issues do they come up against? The ten good practices describe the practice of the artist-educator from within. They are lively and original stories about the strength, the individuality and the enthusiasm of these art teachers in the making and those who are supporting them in their development.

The stories can be a starting point for those looking to explore the landscape of the teacher training programmes. At the same time, they offer inspiration for those who want to learn about the latest developments in the field. As a supplement to – and as an inspirational new angle on – the official documents and vision statements.

Finally, we have added an analysis: what links these ten good practices together? They certainly all display great social commitment: engagement and a preference for inclusion. That is the common strength of the ArtEZ artist-educator.


Summaries Good Practices

1. Trust

A Dance in Education Arnhem graduation project

You twist, you move your head, arms, legs, abdomen, shoulders, back and feet in a logical, illogical way. You are in the moment and try not to think.

In a series of lessons, student Laura worked with a group of fellow students in order to build physical trust by means of contact improvisation. She demonstrates that the focus on the development process can go hand in hand with a great performance. How do you work to build trust through physical contact?

The group works on falling and getting back up again, carrying and catching each other. They learn how you can hang out and support and lift; break out and withdraw.

2. “We”

A Theatre in Education Arnhem inclusion project

Exploring the beauty of non-acting.

Student Ruben talks about his experiences and development during an inclusion theatre project involving ArtEZ students and people with learning difficulties. The basic idea is to act in a stage production together, based on contact. It was definitely hard work and intense. How do you achieve equivalence between actors who are so different?

If I place myself above someone, there is no longer room to create something together. Then all the attention is focused on me, I am the creator who decides.

3. The Educational Science of Falling Flat on Your Face

The Theatre in Education Zwolle second-year Creative Lab

What the Creative Lab is really about is the student’s artistic identity.

The Creative Lab revolves around the student’s artistic identity, her personal development and artistry. Students are allowed great freedom, as long as every Friday there is a discussion about the theatrical work shown. That work does not have to be ‘finished’ or ‘good’. ‘Show your mistakes’ is the motto. But does education with so few boundaries work?

Can a rhizomatic structure exist in an educational setting, when you don’t yet have any idea where the education is leading?

4. Home run

A Fine Art and Design in Education Zwolle graduate (special education)

Young people with behavioural problems are unpredictable and they make every day different. With them, you always have to start with a clean slate and be genuinely interested.

Jordy graduated with an internship project for vulnerable young people: early school leavers. By making applied art in a carpentry workshop, they seek to get their life back on track. Jordy is able to use his own biography in his approach to these young people. Does that work, bringing about development through making furniture?

In this work, they get the most direct feedback you could wish for. There are successful experiences to be had for those who dare to persevere.

5. Qualified to start work

A Fine Art and Design in Education Arnhem graduate shares her experiences

I discuss the criteria used with the whole class in order to raise awareness.

Graduate student Hannah talks about her first job as a teacher in Dutch Cultural and Artistic Training and Visual Arts in the Achterhoek region of the Netherlands.

She describes how, within the limitations of the institutional setting such as timetables and set curricula, she tries to add her own twist to art education. Is she succeeding in maintaining her ideals and her vision of meaningful art education; how does she remain true to herself?

When students start to investigate for themselves, the education becomes interesting. I like to provide information and inspire.

6. Molab

ICT in music education – Music in Education Enschede

Students today have a world of media in their pockets. That is something we are keen to make use of within music lessons.

In the Molab module, students investigate how they can use digital tools and technology to innovate in music education in primary schools and secondary schools. Student Nienke explains the role she believes technology can play in a music area for toddlers. Douwe talks about apps that can stimulate the musical creativity of teenagers. Where do music and digital technology enrich each other?

Now I see that it’s all about research: learning to independently explore new areas.

7. Bedside music

Entrepreneurship – Music in Education Zwolle

We devised everything and took the initiative ourselves, organised and arranged everything, networked, worked out the entire content, contacted people.

Students Niels and Jasper talk about a project entirely designed and carried out by students. They started making bedside music in a hospital. The result moved musicians and patients alike. The closeness and comfort the music can offer meant the project had a big impact. What has made this project a success for both students and patients?

Then the song begins and something is created: a palpable connection with the patient.

8. A bag to dance

A design process within the Interdisciplinary Programme

Normally, people don’t buy bags to dance with, but we can change that.

‘A bag to dance’ is a unique artistic collaboration between students Kelly (dance) and Grytsje (visual). They recount how they have developed an interdisciplinary perspective on art through their collaboration. Their self-designed bags invite you to dance with them. Have they succeeded in stretching fixed ideas about art disciplines?

This project has given me a different, more interdisciplinary, perspective on art and design.

9. Happy Birthday Mom

A study within the International Master Artist Educator

At IMAE you investigate, you make, you do and you constantly reflect on all of that in an artist’s journal, a kind of diary.

Graduate student Caro de Feijter talks about her graduation project: an installation and a personal quest into how art can connect people and help them to help each other. Her work is about life and death and offers opportunities to cautiously open a dialogue about them. What ritual has she developed to help others be there for their relatives and friends in difficult times?

I am basically creating a format in which it is safe to talk and there is a structure through which I can learn from the other person: how I can be there for that person.

10. Walk the line

The learning community of the Master Education in Arts in action

The previous study days were more one-way traffic, more about telling. This time, we got involved in a very topical discussion and no one knew where it would lead.

Student Linda talks about a workshop on artistic research. Throughout the day, the focus is on experiencing an artistic research process, through discussion and exchanging research results. It is more about searching than finding, more about questions than answers. What does this quest yield?

It acted as an invitation to jointly go out and redefine frameworks, or to let them go.


The strength of the ArtEZ artist-educator

In this analysis, we look at what links the good practices of the ArtEZ teacher training programmes and explore a few common themes in more detail.

Although each course has chosen its own good practice – one that corresponds to its own profile – it is striking that all the good practices also have something in common. For instance, the ArtEZ teacher training programmes are all very much concerned with society and ‘the other’. All the courses also place a great value on inclusion. Graduates work with a wide range of target groups, with none being excluded. The value of art for society is the starting point for the artist-educator in the making. She is aware that both art and society are constantly in development.

The good practices and the resulting themes give an impression of the current state of play: we cannot rule out the possibility that new emphases will be added next year.

How is that commitment to society put into effect? How does the artist-educator work with and from art? What demonstrates the focus on the inclusion of vulnerable group? We list the central themes.

Theme 1: The ArtEZ artist-educator is open to other people and things

Features of the good practices that substantiate this theme:

  • Making contact; showing who you are; this is necessary for making contact with the other person
  • Not judging
  • Asking questions
  • Recognising the uniqueness, the individual qualities of the participants
  • Working personally; encouraging self-expression
  • Drawing on the knowledge and experience of others
  • Taking an approach based on positive feedback and psychology
  • Picking up signals from the group
  • Getting others to look at things in a different way
  • Connecting the pupil’s world with the art world
  • Bringing others together

In her art-educational practice, the artist-educator puts the other person first and facilitates the encounter with her world. Through art, she offers others the opportunity to take new paths.

Art facilitates the encounter with the world of the other and offers opportunities to take new paths. Pupils, course participants who are making art, are also encouraged to view the world from another person’s perspective. For example, this is very noticeable when different social groups are on stage together (such as the inclusion project described in ‘We’, or in The Educational Science of Falling Flat on Your Face) or when pupils individually interpret the same assignment quite differently (as teacher Hannah shows in Qualified to Start Work. In this regard, it is important that the artist-educator focuses on the other person.

Theme 2: The ArtEZ artist-educator works with and through art

Features of the good practices that substantiate this theme:

  • Making and experiencing art
  • Appealing to feeling and sensory perception
  • Amazing, being in the moment
  • Helping people forget their worries, making their lives easier
  • Experiencing aesthetics
  • Appealing to more layers, broadening experiences
  • Generating impact on the participants
  • Researching, offering an alternative
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Inspiring and enthusing
  • Drawing on your personal biography
  • Artistic analysis of society
  • Artistic identity

The artist-educator works through and with art: art imagines, offers alternative worlds and initiates creative development.
Art is sensual, personal, open-ended. Art can confuse, but it also has the power to move and comfort.

Art has great intrinsic value: art is an essential part of the human experience. Art can confuse but it can also provide comfort (as in Bedside Music). Working with and through the arts contributes to the development of perception, imagination and expressive capacity. Art promotes creativity (such as the creative use of digital media in Molab), inspires thinking and new forms of research (as in Walk the line) and promotes sensory and physical learning (as in Trust).

Theme 3: The ArtEZ artist-educator is an agent of chance

Features of the good practices that substantiate this theme:

  • Setting people in motion, making them think
  • Motivating, initiating
  • Bringing about learning processes
  • Inducing development, profoundly changing
  • Interacting with those around you, seeking out partnerships
  • Establishing and organising interventions
  • Rewarding positive behaviour and progress
  • Changing the dynamics within a group
  • Stretching fixed ideas, developing a vision
  • Identity development
  • Pursuing a societal ideal
  • The artist-educator initiates development and is able to bring about change.

The artist-educator makes interventions that support an individual, group or societal transformation process.

The artist-educator sets development in train and knows which interventions work best in a transformation process. The artist-educator encourages individuals and groups to take a next step in their development (as in Home Run) and supports that transformation process. The art teacher creates an experimental space to facilitate development
and transformation (as in A bag to dance), or challenges people to do something they would normally not dare to do (such as dance teacher Laura in Trust). Transformation in personal processes such as mourning also represent a developmental step (as in Happy birthday Mom).

Theme 4: The ArtEZ artist-educator is a professional

Features of the good practices that substantiate this theme:

  • Knowledge of current developments in art and education
  • Knowledge of methods, digital and other technologies, acting and learning/teaching formats
  • Designing learning pathways
  • Following and giving instructions
  • Coaching the creative process
  • Adapting to the situation
  • Trying and daring to make mistakes
  • Evaluating, reflecting, adjusting

The artist-educator has a wide repertoire of current and innovative methods and techniques at her disposal. She has a well-developed reflective capacity, leading her to continually try out new things, scrutinise and adjust her own actions and teaching practice.

The artist-educator has a wide repertoire of current and innovative methods and techniques at her disposal. She is aware of current developments in the arts and also in her field, art education. She has the skills to make contact with diverse target groups and individuals and dares to take charge in development processes. She is able to coach a creative process, knows how to design and organise lessons and learning pathways, how to use learning/teaching and acting formats, how to work with others. But above all, the artist-educator has a well-developed reflective capacity, leading her to continually scrutinise and adjust her own teaching practice.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

This quote from Beckett, which is often heard within ArtEZ, is certainly also a motto for the artist-educator. These elements are discernible in all ten of the good practices.

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Publisher’s imprint

Good Practices: Teacher Training Programmes in the Spotlight

This publication has been produced by ArtEZ Professorship of Art and Cultural Education, in partnership with the ArtEZ teacher training programmes. The project is supported by the ArtEZ Innovation Fund.

Project management/research:
Olga Potters (chair)
Leontine Broekhuizen
Elsbeth Veldpape

Dance in Education research:
Julia Dieckmann

Theatre in Education research:
Hélène Meyer

Fine Art and Design in Education research:
Anne-Marie Meertens

Music in Education research:
Mariska van der Vaart

The Professorship of Art and Cultural Education is headed by Professor Jeroen Lutters.

Rijk Willemse

Sido Dekker Atelier & Media in partnership with Studio Judith Bakker

© ArtEZ University of the Arts Arnhem, May 2018