Critical Interpretation, Contemporary Chinese Art and Classroom Pedagogy in...

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UNSW Kensington Campus & White Rabbit Collection at ‘Dangrove’ Alexandria

Sydney, NSW 2052


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Critical Interpretation, Contemporary Chinese Art and Classroom Pedagogy in Visual Arts: A UNSW/White Rabbit Collection Collaboration

Dates, times, locations:

Offered in intensive mode, this 4-day course will be offered in UNSW Term 3 2019 to coincide with the October school holidays in NSW.

Day 1 - Tuesday 8 Oct – UNSW Kensington Campus, Room TBC

Day 2 Wednesday 9 Oct – White Rabbit Collection at ‘Dangrove’ Alexandria.

Day 3 Thursday 10 Oct – White Rabbit Collection at ‘Dangrove’, Alexandria.

Day 4 Friday 11 Oct – UNSW Kensington Campus, Room TBC

The UNSW School of Education is pleased to announce an exciting partnership with the White Rabbit Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art as part of our postgraduate and professional learning programs in Visual Arts Education.

This course provides a unique opportunity for students enrolled in the Master of Education or teachers seeking professional learning in Visual Arts to investigate artworks from the White Rabbit Collection in conjunction with investigations of research and pedagogy in the area of critical interpretation in art education.

The White Rabbit Collection is one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art – in fact, currently the largest ongoing collection, and unique it its focus on works produced after 2000. Founded by collector Judith Neilson, the collection includes works by artists from the Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, now numbering more than 3000 works, positioned within the context of global contemporary art: https://www.jnprojects.net/white-rabbit-collection/

You will engage first hand with selected contemporary Chinese artworks and research these through applying the practices of the critic and the historian. This research, combined with in-depth learning about the development of critical interpretation as a form of reasoning in classroom exchanges, will inform your further work in designing and implementing high quality teaching and learning programs in Visual Arts. Consideration will be given to how you can support students to build interpretations in the classroom of artworks that reflect the diversity of discourses within international contemporary art.

Course content will address:

  • recent research on how students’ interpretations of art are structured and contribute to their knowledge and understanding in Visual Arts
  • the role of explanatory frameworks (the Frames) in supporting students’ developing interpretations of contemporary art practice
  • teaching strategies that support students to adopt the role of an art critic through critical reasoning exchanges in the classroom in Years K-12 Visual Arts
  • how to design teaching and learning programs geared to the students’ learning needs in a particular stage that provide opportunities for them to extend their knowledge and understanding of art writing and critical practice.
  • approaches to implementing assessment for learning in art criticism and way students’ critical understanding of art can be assessed.

Engaging in this course will depth your knowledge and understanding of ways you can you can support students’ learning in K-12 Visual Arts. Particular emphasis will be given to strategies you can use to support students to adopt the role of the critic and construct and represent informed points of view about the meaning/s of contemporary Chinese art.

Benefits of the course

Successful completion of this postgraduate course supports the maintenance of NESA Accreditation at Highly Accomplished Level (1.1.3, 1.2.3, 1.3.3, 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.3, 3.1.3, 3.3.3)

Course Facilitators:

Dr Karen Maras, Convenor: Visual Arts Education, UNSW School of Education

Dr Karen Maras, is a curriculum specialist with particular expertise in Visual Arts education. Her area of interest is in the role of critical reasoning in the construction of knowledge in art. She investigates the role teachers have in instigating collaborative reasoning exchanges in the classroom that facilitate students’ critical agency, critical thinking and learning. She is currently involved in a NSW Department of Education project investigating the role of critical and creative thinking skills in lesson planning, teacher pedagogy and assessment in the Visual Arts. Karen’s teaching and research in the area of curriculum development and change and implication for teachers and classroom pedagogy is grounded in her previous experiences in curriculum development at state and national levels in Australia and in her work as a secondary school teacher. Her current interest is in examining the proposals to integrate general capabilities in curriculum content and the theoretical bases on which 21st century skills may or may not align with subject content. Karen’s teaches into the Masters of Education (Coursework) program in the School of Education, UNSW. Her areas of teaching include issue and practices in Visual Arts education, and curriculum and assessment in school and higher education.

Ms Luise Guest, Manager of Research, White Rabbit Collection at ‘Dangrove’.

Luise Guest is the Manager of Research for the White Rabbit Collection of contemporary Chinese art. Her writing has been published in a range of online and print journals including The Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Art Monthly Australasia, The Art Life, Daily Serving, Randian and Artist Profile. Her book, ‘Half the Sky: Conversations with Women Artists in China’ was published by Piper Press in 2016. In a previous life Luise was a Visual Arts teacher in government and independent schools for more than 30 years, during which time she was a Supervisor of HSC Marking and a presenter for Teacher Training Australia. Her current PhD research examines the work of female artists who subvert the conventions of ink painting and calligraphy.

This course is offered as NESA Approved Professional Learning. Teachers undertaking this course as professional learning will have the opportunity to complete the assessments for the corresponding Master of Education Course. If the assessments are completed (for an additional fee) with successful pass marks and entry into the Master of Education Program at UNSW is gained, this may be used for course credit towards the award program .

For further information about the Master of Education (Curriculum & Assessment) program please contact Dr Karen Maras: k.maras@unsw.edu.au

We are currently accepting applications for the Master of Education (Curriculum & Assessment):


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Sydney, NSW 2052


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