The number of ways we have thought about education over time is vast. From Socrates to John Dewey, and Jean Piaget to Paulo Freire, our understanding of learning has evolved and morphed. The concepts and theories we manage range from learning for learning’s sake to vocational training; from a liberal arts education to on-the-job training; and from student-centered learning to research-informed teaching. Today then, our definitions and models of teaching are vast. In an age of ever faster change and innovation, this plethora of concepts expands incessantly. As we adapt to the radical disruptions of the technological turn post COVID, it can be overwhelming. What this all results in for teachers and learners alike, is an open, and sometimes contested, question.
In the built environment, architects, urbanists and planners operate in changed studio settings. In teacher training and education studies, modes of delivery have been radically altered. In the social sciences, how we teach subjects like anthropology, sociology and cultural theory is under constant critique. In the arts, media and design fields, the pressure on students to consider a ‘job’ informs what we teach, and how they learn. Whether approaching teaching from the perspective of STEM or the frameworks of the humanities, this is a complex time.
In considering the education sector as now operating ‘beyond the curriculum’, this conference examines how our teaching has morphed in recent years. Its premise is that we always have, and increasingly need to do more than ‘simply teach’. In teaching students to be ‘information literate’, we provide them with skills for life. In encouraging critical thinking, we help navigate a changed tomorrow. In focusing on transferable skills, we prepare them for complex futures. Through community engagement, we open students to socially conscious models of work. In the new tech-classroom, we do this by combining contemporary tools with established bodies of knowledge.
To explore and examine these contemporary modes of teaching practice, this conference brings together Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom; Louisiana State University, United States; and Wenzhou-Kean University, China. They share concerns for critical thinking in the creative sector, connecting teaching with community, and aligning learning with local issues. They are interested in questions of curriculum planning, technology and teaching, engaging the digital learner, and student support. Together with the various themes set by AMPS, they welcome papers on personal development, experiential learning, innovative teaching, decolonizing the curriculum, and more. They do so across multiple disciplines.
To find out more about the work and interests of the participating institutions, read more: Glasgow School of Art, UK – Critical Speculations on Art School Education | Louisiana State University USA – Creativity as an Experimental Agenda | Wenzhou-Kean University, China – Teaching Beyond Boundaries – Education Outside the Classroom.
To find out more about the books and journal special issues that will result from this conference with Routledge and UCL Press, see the Publications section of this site. To participate, submit an abstract.
Image: Andrea Castelli