Wednesday, 20 November 2013

PLC November 18, 2013: Adult Education and Museums’/Galleries’ role in inquiry-based learning and the “New” Curriculum

 Monday saw a fantastic PLC at the RBG. We had a great turn out. This topic is very popular!

What follows are some notes from the five presenters. Here is the description of all their presentations and biographies.

Thanks everyone for making this a success! Special thanks goes out to the RBG for providing a great space and being such wonderful hosts.

Dr. Joyce Zazulak, Associate professor, McMaster University Department of Family Medicine
The Importance of Curiosity in Adult Learning
As a medical professional and medical school instructor, it is important to foster curiosity in my students, who as family medicine practitioners are embarking on a lifetime of learning.  Curiosity is a valuable skill not often fostered in the medical school culture that values perfectionism in its students.  Curiosity and a willingness to maintain an open minded approach to problem solving and tolerating ambiguous subject matter do in fact make physicians better diagnosticians.  Arts-based learning opportunities for medical students and increasing medical humanities programs in Canada’s medical schools aim to further develop curiosity and tolerance to ambiguity in adult learners.

Example: doctor’s process in a case of "low-level decision making"
Thinking about why we quickly come to decisions in medicine, instead of looking at other possibilities
How does uncertainty and ambiguity affect medicine?
An arc of tension, resolution, and then relaxation occurs when doctors are first in the exploratory, and then resolution phase of diagnosis.
Premature closure: critical tension threshold, you may be motivated to come up with a plan that will lead to an incorrect diagnosis

How do you reduce the problem of premature closure?
Curiosity is about an urge to continue to investigate, comfortable with not knowing; it engages both imagination and intelligence

Curiosity in medicine: gives the best critical thinking
Mosaic, not linear thinking
Narrows down and then re-expands

Convert patient into a person, know more about who they are
Efficiency can suppress curiosity

Visual literacy, teaches doctors how to look, observant/interpretive skills, reflective, tolerant of ambiguity, use richer language, empathy
VTS, push through aesthetic stages of development, guided observation, evidence based looking

Art of Seeing Program at the McMaster Museum of Art, launched in 2010

Art of Medicine 2013: This session included the aspects of art therapy, (small t therapy, just using art therapy techniques to use other side of their brain), organizational ethicist

It is important to honour curiosity, sometimes it gets squashed
Consider multiple perspectives
Use inquiry-based learning

Book Club from 2013: Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience

Do residents revisit artwork later?
Suggestion: try exercise where participant spends 3 hrs with one work of art, note observations as they unfold, provide insight to how we quickly make judgements, we see what we think we're supposed to see

Dr. Gregory Davies
Student Collaboration, Curatorship and Educational Outreach: ‘Worldly Possessions’ at the McMaster Museum of Art
This talk will outline the design of the current ‘Worldly Possessions’ exhibition at the McMaster Museum of Art and focus on student involvement in curatorship and educational outreach through research, tours, activities and electronic media.

Student collaboration, curatorship and educational outreach
Worldly Possessions exhibition video

Context for understanding
Overarching theme: visual culture plays a role in mediating two conflicting ideologies
How did visual culture recognize the conflicting problems of belief system and strong economics?
Moral/ethical concerns

Issue in organizing: breadth of material: places, people, things
Had to change organization of work, viewer has to make connections between work themselves
ROM denied request: complications with display
Instead secured rights to display images
Wall text
Students could choose how they could be involved, designing exhibition, creating media, had two students who wrote wall descriptors
Problem: have to heavily edit some student text
Sensory experience (spices)
Interactive (microscope), alternative sensory experience
Blog monitor in exhibition space
He currently has some students writing papers that will go up on the exhibition blog

Travel exhibition to schools
5 students: open invitation, different courses, be more strategic next time, hand pick students, qualitative issues with writing
Not for credit (original 5)

Nicole Neufeld
Seniors in the Studio: Education Programs for an Aging Population
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
For over two years, KW|AG has partnered with the Alzheimer Society Kitchener-Waterloo to jointly deliver gallery programs for individuals living with early onset Alzheimer and their caregivers.  This talk will run through program delivery, reveal some of the findings and benefits of delivering programs to seniors, and offer insights into future opportunities and challenges facing this kind of initiative.

Initiated by KW Alzheimer society "Gather at the Gallery"
Based on “Meet me at Moma” program, launched in 2006
Early stages of Alzheimer and their care partner (sometimes couple, child, sinling, friend)
Hosts 4 times a year, 12-20 participants per year
Seven partner institutions
Helps couples develop their relationship in new ways
Both entering unfamiliar space, levels the playing field, both not the expert, both vulnerable and unfamiliar
Under-served demographic
Partnering with service organizations, both bringing something to the table the other can't offer: care workers, skills/tools to support this demographic
Visual literacy and hands on art making programs
Elderly demographic is growing, need to connect in meaningful ways
Mobility, health, cognitive challenges impede participating in events outside the home
Objectives: social engagement, opportunities for self-expression and participation in creative process
Foster a sense of community. Bring vulnerable populations into the gallery in a safe and productive environment
Gallery becomes their space, individuals feel comfortable and believe the gallery would understand their circumstances
90 minutes in 2 parts, good for this demographic
Part one exhibition tour, 10-15 min break for socializing (drink, food), Part two hands on art making

Exhibition tour: 10-15 minutes in front of each artwork (comfortably!!) good chairs
Encourage discussion on what they see with each other, formal qualities, looking at contemporary work, don't assume they don't want to connect with contemporary work
Inquiry based discussion, ask questions, ask for opinions, use works that can create a narrative, try to generate conversation, more so than teach
Ask questions that encourage participants to make a connection with the work, connect to memory, storytelling does this remind you of something...

Second part: art making
Connect with themes in exhibitions, logistical details: accessible materials and supplies, have examples to follow. Activity eg: photos of buildings from the city, can colour them, trace them, experiment with paints/materials
Write out instructions, explain what will be created and how
Introduce to supplies and how to use them
Give time so participant can share their work with others, thoughts

Provide reminders and assurance, humour and encouragement, adapt the program as necessary, give very step by step instructions

Alzheimer society has an end of the year show of their work, exciting for participants

Forum for explorations and exchange of ideas without relying on short term memory
Opportunity to share personal experience and access long term memory, chance to share stories
A learning experience for participants and educators
New insights into peers interests (even if negative towards certain artworks)
Respite from day to day challenges, alternative space
Meaningful intellectual activity, opportunity for personal growth at any age diversification of support networks
Program that includes a concrete, physical piece is helpful

KWAG will be carrying forward this program to long term care facilities, retirement residences
Funding challenges, community foundation grant

Recommended video: I Remember Better when I Paint

Dr. Debra Antoncic, PhD
Associate Curator at RiverBrink
Debra Antoncic will be speaking on RiverBrink Art Museum’s series of LearnMore Adult Education Courses.

LearnMore Fall Adult Ed Course

Fine art museum in Queenston, country location (challenging sometimes)
Inability to attract school kids to 1812 exhibit, even with free bussing
Personally interested in adult education, seniors (active, travelling)
First started with "road show", go to the people, but changed to on site
Traditional art history lectures,
Canadian art in Seven
Very popular, more than 40 people signed up
Why popular? Cost: $30 for whole series, 1.5 hours each
A lot of that demographic might not be able to commit to seven, might go to warm place in winter, have dr appt
Also: popular because of lecturer
Supported by Niagara-on-the-Lake by discretionary grants
Workshop component: don't have studios, started with artist demonstrations, another avenue for getting adults interested in art to the museum (jewellery making, painting workshop)
Learn from looking at the actual works of art
Key for their success: keeping it at a modest fee

Artist fees are modest, participants pay to cover materials and artist fee
Coffee/social time: leave it casual, informal discussion question. Gives opportunity for people to ask speaker a question they may not have been comfortable asking in group
Wednesday morning is a good time

Leslie Furness
Hamilton Artist and Teacher's College Graduate 2013
Leslie Furness will be doing an interactive presentation about the New Ontario Curriculum for grades 7 to 12 and how museums and galleries can apply this curriculum to learning that happens outside of the classroom setting. In particular, Leslie will speak about her experience leading grade 12s through the McMaster University School of the Arts graduating class exhibition at the McMaster Museum of Art in order for the students to look ahead to opportunities and expectations at
the university level.

You can see Leslie’s presentation here on Prezi.

Teachers have to implement new social studies curriculum by September 24
Leslie is OCT: Ontario College of Teachers certified to teach art and English; she is a Visual and scenic artist
She struggled in school as a visual and spatial learner
One of 9000 newly graduated teachers in Ontario: the course will be changing from one year to two year. The hope is that this will halve the number of graduates each year and create a higher number of job opportunities for new graduates
Teachers can volunteer in schools, to get their name out there
Curriculum: history of policy in Ontario
Give students opportunity to choose programs that suit their skills and interest
Broader range of learning options outside traditional classroom instruction

Students are expected to plan and direct their life and schooling very early (before high school)

Inquiry based learning: a method and strategy for 21st Century learners
Practice critical thinking
Sound opinions and discuss intelligently
Difference between fact and opinion
Learn how to listen to others and respect other's thoughts, ideas, opinions
Student centred learners are presented with problems or issues to be explored and solved
Should be sensitive to learners experiential background

Smaller groups, more eager to talk amongst themselves
Give them a job, student centred learning, don't just talk at them

Teacher led inquiry based learning: teacher is question asker, not answerer (facilitator and guide)
Do have to reinforce content

Process of inquiry: 8
Observe, classify, predict, infer, interpreting data, experimenting, communicating, questioning

Reflecting, responding and analyzing: the emphasis on this is NEW

Share information, make connections between their own experiences and what they're analyzing
Ultimate goal to have students question ideas, concepts, and their opinions

Experiential learning: a field trip
It wasn't easy to get time to get students out: lots of bureaucracy, money, sign forms, teacher has to be an advocate for the trip, they have to push, had to make a  meeting w the principal, show curriculum proof, no money to bus them there
Teachers need curriculum connections

Sometimes schools are blogging about their field trips: google your institution to see!

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