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Exploring the essence’s of Open School through art

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Abstract for INSEA, Academic paper For the subtheme: Experiment: What relationships exist among artistic and pedagogical risks, failures, successes and stabilized/destabilized practices? Title: Exploring the essence’s of Open School through art By. Associate professor, Ph.d. Lars Emmerik Damgaard Knudsen, Aarhus University, Denmark Open School is a collaboration between schools and organizations in the local community on teaching including teaching artists, museums and art schools (Retsinformation 2016). It is a part of the school reform in Denmark from 2014 and is internationally familiar to concepts like out of school learning (Quigley 2014, Resnick 1987). In Denmark, teachers and collaborating organizations received Open School with mixed emotions. An evaluation showed (EVA 2018) that some were very positive and had already been co-working on i.e. aesthetical learning processes, but others felt that external organizations were not pedagogically fit for teaching children, because some artists do not have a teacher education. Multiple interpretations of what open school actually is soon blurred the picture even more (Knudsen 2017): Ministry of Culture defined Open School to be about Bildung. Ministry of Education saw it as a tool for learning the curriculum. The organization of local government said Open School should support students’ general competences, and artists engaging in the Open School program put emphasis on the potential for creativity in schools. In 2015, I began a 3-year research project to explore the fundamental question: What is the essences of Open School? Merleau-Ponty (1962) defines essence as a lived experience seated in the body and interwoven with the surrounding world. Open School supports the pupils’ aesthetical learning processes, so to capture the essences’ of Open School an artist and I conducted arts-based research based on Leavy (2009) and Barone & Eisner (2012). We observed and made artwork (drawings and collages) at 55 lessons across museums, theaters, youth clubs, businesses and churches with around 1.000 participating students, and did 39 interviews with teachers, local government workers and external organizations. In this paper, I will present the selections of the arts-based research to illustrate the pupil’s aesthetically learning experiences. References: Barone, T. and Eisner, E. (2012). Arts based Research. Los Angeles: SAGE. EVA (The Danish Evaluation Institute) (2018). Åben skole. Erfaringer og inspiration fra seks samarbejdsprojekter mellem skoler og eksterne læringsmiljøer. Found 28.9.2018: https://www.eva.dk/sites/eva/files/2018-02/EVA%20Inspirationskatalog%20%C3%85ben%20Skole_081217.pdf Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of Perception. London and New York: Routledge. Knudsen, L.E.D. (2017). What is Open school? Presentation at Speaker Series, University of British Columbia. Found 28.9.2018: https://pure.au.dk/portal/files/119132066/What_is_open_school_Lars_E_D_Knudsen_EDCP_Seminar_Series_UBC_2017.pdf Leavy, P. (2009). Method Meets art. Arts-based research Practice. New York and London: The Guilford Press. Quigley, C. (2014). Expanding our view of authentic learning: bridging in and out-of-school experiences. Cult Stud of Sci Educ. 9:115–122 Resnick, L. B. (1987). Learning in School and Out. Educational Researcher, Vol 16 no. 9, pp.13-20+54 Retsinformation (public law) (2016). Bekendtgørelse af lov om folkeskolen. Found 28.9.2018: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=192527
Udgivelsesårjul. 2019
Antal sider29
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2019
BegivenhedMaking INSEA - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Varighed: 9 jul. 201913 jul. 2019


KonferenceMaking INSEA
LokationUniversity of British Columbia


  • Åben skole, arts based research

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