Photo: Emma Brown
Body, Emotions and the Arts
In light of the contributions of this issue, it seems crystal clear that learning is as much anchored into our bodily and emotional experiences as it is to our intellect. A separation of mind and body even seems irrelevant and artificial in the context of the articles you are about to read.
The arts are a natural addition to this equation of body and emotions, as art often offers a direct path into a person’s inner world of feelings and meanings – and as a result deeply affects the learning process.
As always with LLinE, the viewpoint of this issue is practical. We study good practices of adult educators who use bodily and arts-based methods, meet practicing artists to hear about their learning paths and learn about policy synergies between education and culture. The learner groups of the articles range from seniors to vulnerable youth, from adult learners in non-formal adult education to refugees.
This issue is produced in cooperation with the InfoNet adult education correspondents’ network.
Three Finnish adult educators share their pedagogical methods using movement, singing and simple game ideas.
Jim Soulsby gives a personal account of bringing arts actitivities to a care home for the elderly in the UK. One of the residents is Jack, whose mealtimes are difficult due to his hand tremors. However, Jack’s hands stopped trembling when he held a paint brush.
Natalija Žalec and Mateja Rozman Amon
Slovenian youth struggling with marginalization issues find help through artistic activity. The article follows a particular workshop where a group of vulnerable youth produced a professional documentary film with reenacted scenes: to see one’s own painful experiences portrayed on screen proves a powerful and cathartic experience.
Elena Boukouvala has just returned from the Sahara, training teachers of autistic children in a refugee camp. The experience was a demanding and personal one, bearing witness to the power but also limitations of drama methods in learning.
This article takes the reader into the middle of the arts-based learning experience, illuminating in great detail how, in this case, painting and poetry can affect people’s views of immigrants. Furthermore, Kokkos’ contribution offers adult educators research-based guidelines and tools to enable them to design art-based training modules.
Proponents of learning style models argue that teachers should assess the learning styles of their students and adapt their classroom methods to best fit each student’s style. Commonly these include e.g. visual or kinesthetic learning. The idea of learning styles is strongly criticised by many academics. A prominent critic, Frank Coffield offers his view on why the education community should pass on the notion of restricting teaching methods to particular styles.
The EU seeks synergy between education and cultural policies. Henrik Zipsane explains how this is still a work in progress, with learning through arts and culture still marginalized. European lifelong learning NGOs have been instrumental in lobbying for deeper partnerships between education and culture sectors.
Robert Ciesla is a Finnish multimedia artist, working solo in his studio apartment. He is almost completely self-taught and creates largely without the support of an artistic community. Ciesla describes his learning path and discusses what it takes to be an autodidact.
What role does the body play in society today? Does outward appearance affect the performance of teachers or lecturers? Germany’s prominent sociologist of the body discusses these and other questions.
Meet LLinE’s graphic artist Eevi Rutanen, juggling a student life with two major subjects, bioinformation technology and graphic design.
Review of Mira-Lisa Katz’s (Ed.) Moving Ideas: Multimodality and Embodied Learning in Communities and Schools
Issue picture by Eevi Rutanen