The Change Lab 2019: What does it mean to create and shape art and design curriculum for the 21st century learner?

The Change Lab showcases concerns of Development Education and global citizenship education as part of the teacher training in the National College of Art and Design. Report by Ciara Regan.

Who We Are

Professional Masters in Education students, Fiona King (Co-ordinator of PME in Art and Education; Lecturer and Researcher in Art and Design Education) and Tony Murphy (Lecturer from the School of Education) from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin

What We Did

The Change Lab is a critical space for learning, thinking and re-imagining the possibilities of how art and design curriculum in second level can be taught through a development education lens.

The Change Lab showcases concerns of Development Education (DE) as part of the Education Department teacher training programme at the NCAD, in conjunction with the Ubuntu Network, which supports teacher educators and student teachers to engage with local and global development issues:

Development education (DE) is an educational process that is concerned with building a student’s knowledge, awareness and understanding of the world that they live in, and how that world is often an unequal one in terms of Human Rights and social justice (social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, social rights, resources and opportunities). Education for sustainable development (ESD) extends the context of DE to go beyond the social justice thematic parameters of DE to also include issues focusing on the environment and the importance of maintaining and protecting the planet while meeting our development needs.

The Change Lab initiative explores DE and ESD concepts through the lens of Art and Design, so it is important for students to ensure that the art processes and visual research methods, intrinsic to the subject of art, remain to the forefront of this exploration.

CONSEQUESTIAL PRACTICE: The change lab fosters a space where your practice as an artist, educator and activist is action orientated, cultivating critical thinking, making and innovation to investigate real world problems. The Change Lab explores the concept of agency and ownership through fostering collaborative teaching and learning methods.”

The 2019 Change Lab was informed by the over-arching theme of Place and Space.

Artist, Laurie Anderson reflects thatart about places is often about how we move through space, it’s about point of view and perspective and scale and exploration but it’s also about how we track these places and make them works of art’.

The term a ‘sense of place’ is a concept that is present in several different fields of study. In defining place and space, the philosopher Yi-Fu Tuan, 1977, describes place as a location created by human experiences. Tuan states that ‘space is freedom; place is security’ p.3. In consideration of Tuan’s concept of place and space; Place can be concrete and physical, situating, locating, positioning you within a specific site, a locale, a region.

A place can be expansive, territorial, political, anchored within an urban or rural landscape.

Space can relate to an interval of time, the freedom to think, develop and grow.

Our perception of space can be conceptual, less concrete and more abstract then place, a thinking space, the head space to re conceptualize how you see things from a different perspective.

Did we succeed?

The 2019 Change Lab exhibition of student teacher group work was on display in the NCAD Gallery from Monday 8 April 2019 – Tuesday 16 April 2019, 11am – 5pm to students, staff and the general public.

Along with creating and completing original artwork, photobooks and project portfolios the participating students were involved in a series of public talks and events involving educators and practitioners involved in art and design, world issues, curriculum development and human rights education.

For more information, see the Change Lab and the professional masters in education at NCAD.