The funambulist strategy: art-educators-researchers in the classroom

The paper draws on a two-years project involving a group of art-educators-researchers from the Faculty of Fine Arts/University of Porto, 10 classes of 1st and 2nd grade pupils (total of 189 children) in 5 primary schools, and their respective teachers (9 in total), in Felgueiras, Por- tugal. The project is named LABEA – Laboratory of Research in Arts Education – Felgueiras, and consists of a pilot project in the area of Arts Education aimed particularly at teacher train- ing. In Portugal, primary education teachers are generalist and have not specific training in arts. This often leads to an idealization of artistic areas, and consequent instrumentalization in favor of other curricular knowledge. If, on the one hand, we from the Faculty of Fine Arts were hired on the basis of an instrumental principle – the effectiveness of art in reducing school ‘failure’ -, our critical position as art-educators-researchers forces us to raise several questions. We will try to address some of them throughout this text, especially the aporia in which we have often found ourselves during these two years, a position of going back and forth which we call the funambulist strategy.

Year 2021
Type Journal Article with peer review
Publication Academia Letters
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