DISCOVERY AND CREATION IN ART HISTORY CLASSES
Hong Kong Design Institute (HONG KONG)
This paper will outline the planning and implementation of assignments in History of Visual Arts classes, taught as part of a Higher Diploma in Visual Arts in Hong Kong. In this generation of post 90s students, concentration in class is becoming harder to maintain and an addiction to ‘screens’ that constantly deliver ‘info-tainment’ directly to an individual’s mobile phone has created an expectation within students that is often at odds with traditional methods of teaching.
The challenge within an educational institution is to create activities that can fulfill the intended learning outcomes while at the same time presenting enjoyable and rewarding experiences that break down the students’ preconceptions and expectations of a subject and actively engage their attention.
The paper will introduce my personal experiences of learning the history of art as a student, how dry and monotonous it seemed and how this part of learning seemed totally unconnected to my own art practice. I have grown to believe that an awareness of the history and development of art can positively inform the perception and attitude of a young artist. As a teacher responsible for the teaching of art history I became determined to find a way to teach Art History in a way that brought it to life and so practical projects were introduced into the teaching modules. The paper will go on to explain the reasons for the introduction of this style of pedagogy, how and why the assignments were created, how they were implemented and ultimately how the students responded to them.
Finally the paper will describe the fun the students had, the pleasure they obviously gained from the experience and how their final project led to an exhibition in a major local museum, which gifted the participating students a wonderful opportunity to exhibit their work in a public space.