The concluding edition of CRB Dispatch focuses on the theme “Pedagogy.” The theory and practice of education was interweaved into every facet of our activities at the Curatorial Research Bureau this year. We approached the academic year by thinking about how the CRB could best provide opportunities for learning, how it could be a valuable and useful pedagogical platform and resource, something extending from but outside traditional modes of teaching. From the intentionally curated selection of books by global practitioners and institutions, to the shape-shifting character of our physical space to accommodate events, to the compelling presentations by invited guests, the CRB’s underlying mission is pedagogical. Those complementary modes of educating support that mission.
At a recent event celebrating the publication of Allan deSouza’s new book How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change, we had the opportunity to delve into the etymology of “pedagogy.” In his book, deSouza reminds us that in ancient Greece the pedagogue was one who accompanied students on a daily basis, providing guidance and thus education through everyday social and human interactions. Opposed to the formal, didactic responsibilities of a teacher who relayed information with the hope it transformed into knowledge, the pedagogue’s role was more akin to teaching informally by “being with,” teaching through showing, teaching through humanizing, showing how to care, forgive, and be generous. Thus the student learned how to think critically of social situations, human interactions, ideas, and the world. These educational models resonated with the audience that evening in a public discussion about the challenges higher education faces today.
To that end, we have chosen the theme “Pedagogy” to conclude the academic year accompanied here by a special (and final) Case Studies titled “10 Readings Toward a Future for Arts Education.” These readings have been specially identified to provide departure points for thinking about advanced education in the arts, introducing new (sometimes old) models and paths for thinking about effective platforms of educating, responsive to the changing responsibilities of today’s contemporary creative practitioners.
James Voorhies, Chair, CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice