Eventualizing Arts Education

European Conference on Educational Research – ECER2016

University College Dublin, 26 de Agosto de 2016

The idea of event in the title is taken as the possibility of thinking about arts education as something that is made up of historical and contingent layers. If we can play with the idea of social and educational research, art education is taken as an object to study its effects. As the origin of study, research seeks to understand how children learn it, how it serves social purposes, or how it comes into being as a school subject to provide for the changing needs and purposes of society, research objects we later talk about further. When we speak about «eventualizing» art education, we are reversing the questions of its study. It is to ask about the historical conditions that make art education as a school subject possible. What is taken for granted and given metaphysical and essentialist ideas about the subject viewed, in contrast, as a monument. That monument is not merely there as a heroic act of the past but embodies a range of cultural, social and political principles that come together. The assemblage ‘acts’ to make possible a particular ‘seeing’, thinking, and act on through its representations and identities.


«Eventualizing» art education is to ask about it as an effect of historical practices and power relations—what Foucault spoke about as knowl- edge/power relations. The «eventualizing» also assumes differences, fissures, and multiple lines that compose what today is called art education. As such, this eventful space is used as the terrain of a history of the present. It is an event of today that is analyzed simultaneously by the emergence and by the regularities that are installed. Our «eventualizing» in this paper is making a conversation that breaks conventions in thinking about arts education as an event that engages a broader and simultaneously focused theoretically discussion around problems that directly affect today’s arts education disciplinary field.

Expected Outcomes

It is easy to develop an historical amnesia as the languages of the arts edu- cation are about learning and human self-betterment that obscures schooling as a social and cultural practice. Again a simple exercise in reflection on the models of the school curriculum can help to provide a critical, cultural and historical mode of thinking about schooling. When looking at curriculum of schools, they are alchemies. That is, children in schools are not historians or musicians. To make these fields of knowledge into school subjects requires ways of transporting disciplinary and conservatory cultures and knowledge systems into pedagogical practices. The different layers that historically construct the (im)possibilities of arts education will be explored throughout the paper.


Martins, C. (2013). The Arts in Education as Police Technologies. European Education, 45/3, 67-84.
Martins, C. (2014). Genius as a Historical Event: Its Making as a Statistical Object and Instrument for Governing Schooling. In Popkewitz, T. (ed.), The «Reason» of Schooling. Historicizing the Curriculum Studies, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education. New York and London: Routledge, 99-114.
Ó, J. R., Martins, C., & Paz, A. (2013). Genealogy as History: from Pupil to Artist as the Dynamics of Genius, Status, and Inventiveness in Arts Edu- cation in Portugal. In Popkewitz, T. (ed.), Rethinking the History of Education. Transnational Perspectives on Its Questions, Methods, and Knowledge. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 157-178.
Popkewitz, T. & Gustafson, R. (2002). The alchemy of pedagogy and social inclusion/ exclusion. Philosophy of Music Education Review 10/2, 80-91.
Popkewitz, T. (2004). The alchemy of the mathematics curriculum: Inscrip- tions and the fabrication of the child. American Educational Journal 41(4), 3-34.

Event Title European Conference on Educational Research - ECER2016
Comunication Title Eventualizing Arts Education
Date 26 of August of 2016