Hogeschool Rotterdam Willem de Kooning Academie

Programme Description

Programme Description

Below is a brief overview of modules being taught. Please note that the curriculum may change in response to current issues and practices within the field of art education. Rather than being fixed or canonical, our modules are tailored to meet the challenging demands of a constantly changing cultural and educational environment.

Thematic Seminars

Over the course of two years, the programme offers two thematic seminars exploring and discussing themes and topicalities relevant to the field of art and design education. The seminars adhere to the philosophy of the master, which aims at dealing with the complete ecology of art and design education: in and outside of schools, hovering between different artistic disciplines, pedagogical models and contexts. Both thematic seminars offer a framework for reflection, discussion, joint research and production, involving different learning methodologies such as reading sessions, instructional workshops, presentations, discussions and lectures.

Thematic Seminar I – Contemporary Issues in Art and Design Education

“Contemporary Issues in Art Education” (Trimester 1) deals with topical discussions in the field of art and design education, particularly concerning the reciprocal influence of contemporary developments in art/design and education. This seminar taps into the recent debates by exploring a topical contemporary thematic/discussion, allowing students to explore it from their own angle and professional background.

Thematic Seminar II – ‘Makings Things Public’

“Making Things Public” (Trimester 4) deals with the public dimension of art education outside the institutional context of the school or academy, and discusses the latest developments in this field. This involves education strategies and programs in museums (from regular educational programs to public programming or outreach projects of museums with a community arts-like character), artists/designers who develop projects that are affiliated to educational or pedagogic strategies et cetera. Key questions to explore are: What kind of strategies do artists, museums and art educators use nowadays to make things ‘public’?

Reading Writing and Research Seminar

The Reading, Writing and Research Seminar is a central module that runs through the first year of the programme. By reading core theoretical texts on art and education, students establish a common vocabulary and set of references. They learn to survey a body of literature, filter what is relevant to their research and formulate comparative analyses. The seminar helps students to establish methodical drafting processes for their texts, so that they can further develop their ideas and structure the use of notes and references. Lastly, it will introduce them to different research methodologies in art education.

Committed Pedagogies

The module Committed Pedagogies focuses on analyzing the social, cultural, pedagogical and institutional contexts that are inherent to education, and on developing the ability to ‘act’ within this field at large from personal perspective. Fostering a close connection between practice and theory is an essential working principle of this seminar: students are encouraged to investigate different educational and pedagogical theories and insights adjacent to their specific professional field, experimentally apply these insights, and develop individual ideas and working methods within the field of didactics and pedagogy. Peer feedback, operationalizing existing knowledge and expertise within the group are important elements of the seminar Committed Pedagogies as well.

Digital Cultures and Education

This module offers both a broad overview and an in-depth survey of the impact of digital media on culture and education. The main goal of the course is to develop a critical perspective on the role and position of arts and education in the ever-changing context of emerging and existing technologies and concepts. Through a series of guest lectures, digital media are viewed against a backdrop of (media)historical and social developments. In order to gain both a critical and pragmatic perspective, students map their own educational context and learn how to implement digital and conceptual innovations in educational environments. Digital Cultures consists of four interconnected themes: digital meta-narratives, (new) contexts, (new) roles and (new) practices).

Self-Directed Research

Self-Directed Research is a means of composing an individual research path, starting from the student’s current educational/artistic practice and interests, and runs through the whole first year. The main emphasis of the Self-Directed Research is the joined development and mutual strengthening of practical and theoretical insights, as well as learning-by-doing. The employment of trans-disciplinary and artistic and pedagogical strategies is encouraged. Students are asked in the third trimester to specifically address the research question or thematic that they will work on in the second year of their studies and write a research proposal supported by their findings of both the Self-Directed Research and the Reading Writing and Research Seminar.

Graduate Thesis Seminar and Graduate Project Seminar

The main goal of the Graduation Thesis and Project Seminar is to assist students in how to develop and narrow down a relevant research question, draw a plan for their educational project and structure their research in relation to a research methodology. As a final result of this course students write a Graduate Thesis and Project Proposal, which functions as a point of reference for them as well as their tutors. Research is considered as a critical tool, which gives room for experimentation, analysis and articulation. Since research methodologies in art education vary, an in-depth discussion about the relation between art, education and research is advocated and taken into practice by offering the students specialist workshops in research strategies. Next to that a wide variety of case studies of pedagogical project formats and models are being reviewed.

Graduate Thesis and Project

The last two trimesters of the course are set aside completely for individual research and implementation of the student’s Education Project. The graduation consists of two components (although a strict division may not always be possible to make): the Thesis, a theoretical and conceptual framework, which describes the process of research and summarizes conclusions in relation to the second part: the Graduate Project. The Graduate Project may range from the development of an education programme for an art institution, to a digital educational tool, to an informal workshop setting, et cetera. Students are encouraged to test or evaluate their educational project as much as possible in relation to its intended professional and pedagogical context.