The here proposed experimental teaching methodology aims at intellectually empowering students by reversing the traditional roles of student and teacher. Due to the global COVID crisis, Lille University where we teach in the second year Bachelor track was closed for periods ranging from several weeks to several months between April 2019 and April 2021. Our courses then took place online. This move from the classroom to an online platform visibly deteriorated the quality of our teaching and reinforced a passive attitude on behalf of the students. The COVID crisis thus made all the more important for us to look for ways to enable our students to master their own learning and to reengage with the content of teaching. At the same time we were interested in flattening the hierarchies at play between teacher and learner. We developed an innovative teaching method inspired by French philosopher Jacques Rancière’s text “The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation ” proclaiming that emancipated students can learn without the presence of the teacher. For this pedagogical experiment, instead of transmitting knowledge, we decided to give the students the possibility to build their own courses, according to their own interests, accompanying them as a methodological relay. The content of the classes were selected, prioritized and produced by the students. Similarly to the ‘reversed classroom’ proposed by biology professor Jean-Charles Caillez, the students, divided in small groups, prepared themselves the classes, developed the pedagogical curriculum and took turns teaching a session of the course and evaluating the learning progress of their fellow students.
In this paper we will present the theoretical framework within which this experiment was set up, as well as a qualitative study of the process from the point of view of both the students and the teachers, to end with a qualified assessment.
Marine Allibert is a visual artist and a PhD Candidate in Visual Arts (Centre d’études des arts contemporains, Université de Lille). She holds an undergraduate and graduate degrees in visual arts (Ecole Supérieure d’art Grenoble-Valence), a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts and art theory (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbone) and a Master’s degree in Producing and Curating contemporary art (University of Lille). Her doctoral research focuses on the characterization of the three-dimensional photography from 2010 to 2020. She defends a practical approach to art theory. Her research will result in a dissertation, an exhibition and its catalog, and a film. She pursues a career as an independent artist and curator. She curated the PHOTO-dimensions exhibition (Galerie Commune, Tourcoing, 2020) featuring international artists and co-organised several exhibitions in France. After co-founding an artist-run space in Lille (2015), she is now working on the development of a collective of artists with nomadic practices called Toporama. Since 2016, Marine Allibert has been teaching various art workshops focused on a critical approach to mediums and artistic processes within the Department of Visual Arts at University of Lille as an independent lecturer and temporary lecturer and research assistant (2018/2019, 2021/2022). In 2021, she collaborated with Carlijn Juste on an experimental pedagogical method adapted to the teaching of methodological classes.
Carlijn Juste is a PhD Candidate in Art History (The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture, Groningen University, The Netherlands) and Visual Arts (Centre d’étude des arts contemporains, Lille University, France). She holds a Bachelor degree in European Art History and Political Economics from Ruprecht-Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany. In her Research Master in Art History and Archaeology at Groningen University she specialized on modern and contemporary art, museology and curatorial practices. She will defend her PhD research on “New Media Art in the Museum Environment: Curatorial Strategies for Interactive Digital Art” in December 2022.
During her studies in Germany, France and The Netherlands Carlijn Juste was able to experience different educational models first hand. This experience helped her experiment with different pedagogical approaches in her teaching. Carlijn Juste occupied positions as Temporary Lecturer and Research Assistant at Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France, Valenciennes (2018/19) and at Lille University (2020/21) where she thought in several visual art and design Bachelor and Master tracks. She now teaches different theoretical and methodological classes as an independent lecturer in the Visual Arts Bachelor at Lille University and at the ESÄ Nord – Pas-de-Calais / Dunkerque – Tourcoing art school. In 2021 Carlijn Juste collaborated with Marine Alibert, artist and fellow PhD Candidate, in the elaboration of an experimental teaching method adapted to teaching methodological classes in the Visual Arts Department.