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Ikebana: A creative model for interdisciplinary pedagogy

Kelly, RMC (2017) Ikebana: A creative model for interdisciplinary pedagogy. In: Canadian Craft Biennial Conference Can Craft? Craft Can!, 15 September 2017 - 16 September 2017, Burlington, Canada.

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Abstract

This paper starts with a consideration of collaborative learning in Art and Design Higher Education as a dialogic paradigm. A Modernist Perspective (Childs, 2000) would interpret a dialogic paradigm as an undoing of traditions and rooted practices as an enabling of The New. There are many opportunities which collaborative learning generates because it puts practice cultures, learning styles, and ethical issues under scrutiny by students, making this unique context ripe for evaluation. Collaborative craft learning can enable students to make better decisions together by reducing prejudice and enabling peer approval, two aspects which Bruffee, suggests can lead students to develop new critical perspectives in their own disciplines (Bruffee, K A. Collaborative learning: higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge. 2nd Ed.: Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1999). Evidence suggests that shadowing and contiguous practice, can support learning as much as constructed taught activities. Early evaluations from my Ikebana research project suggest that in a contiguous model of collaboration where students gently co-exist for a period of time that deep learning outcomes can be achieved. Contiguous collaboration sits at the edge of constructionist learning (Papert, S. Mindstorms. Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic books,1980) in that it involves social learning but does not involve the experiential learning which getting involved and being allowed to learn through mistake making, practically, can generate. Within skilled craft teaching core skill learning must be cherished and supported, but it is the rationale of this paper and the research underpinning it, to suggest that an approach of contiguity in teaching and learning which aligns more with Action Research that a deepening of practitioner knowledge is achieved via the process of sharing practice.

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