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unsettling teachers

with Ayesha Ghanchi

This four-part course “Critical Practices: Art and Dialogue” for teachers comprises a series of activities and discussions about critical pedagogy and its relevance to art teaching. Critical pedagogy is a teaching philosophy which integrates the subject of learning with the students’ lived realities. The aim of critical pedagogy is to develop a critical consciousness, in other words- to help students develop an understanding of how they create knowledge, and how this knowledge relates to a wider social and global context. We will examine how a critical consciousness can improve the art making process and dialogues within the studios. These workshops will also give teachers a toolkit to embark upon critical art investigations with their students. We will consider: how to encourage open and empathetic discussions; create contingent and reflexive learning; how learning is continuous and incomplete; how our position affects our interactions, and the flexible role of the teacher. Together, we will explore dialogic and collaborative teaching approaches from Paulo Freire, John Dewey, bell hooks and Joe L. Kincheloe. These workshops will use methods drawn from these pedagogues in our learning journey. Thus, this will also serve as an example of what critical pedagogy is and how it can be used to get the best out of students who are about to embark upon their arts practice.

Ayesha Ghanchi
is an Artist-Educator and academic with a specialist focus on critical pedagogy in arts practice. In 2016 she completed her PhD in collaboration with her thesis titled “A critical analysis of artists engagements at Tate from 1967-2015”. In this body of research, she examined the socio-cultural contexts of pedagogies used at Tate in London, and how they have been influenced by radical and critical philosophies stemming from the 1968 moment. Prior to the PhD, Ayesha worked within the cultural and community sectors as an educator in diverse roles, such as being an assistant curator in the British Museum and Tate Modern, working freelance in council run youth centres, or working with Palestinian refugees in Beirut. Her work mostly focuses on social justice and increasing engagements with arts and culture. More recently she has collaborated with BAK and the Side Room to teach and explore critical pedagogy.