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Alternative art education : a feminist teaching experiment with college students


Alternative art education : a feminist teaching experiment with college students

Veltman, Heather M (2002) Alternative art education : a feminist teaching experiment with college students. Masters thesis, Concordia University.



This thesis is based primarily on a teaching experiment with college students ranging in age between seventeen and twenty three years old. The course, entitled "Women's Perspectives in Drawing: the Self Portrait," was taught in an alternative humanistic program at Dawson College's New School, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Over the fifteen week semester, the students were introduced to women artists, issues related to the representation of women in art history and drawing and painting techniques. Although the curriculum was carefully designed to create an open learning atmosphere inspired from feminist pedagogy, student resistance was an overarching issue that permeated each class. Resistance to feminism, and resistance in general, were due to student age-group, the 'alternative' culture of the New School, and stereotypical ideas about art being 'an easy credit'. Points of contention were related to power struggles over shared grading, coming to class on-time and outright refusal to do coursework. While the process was disheartening at times, accrued self-confidence in art-making skills allowed students to open up to new information and to feminism. Thus, the initial goal of reconsidering stereotypes about women was achieved. These challenges led the author to theorize hypotheses about more successful conditions for a course on women in the arts. It appeared that a studio setting (with easels and a sink) in combination with participant's more mature age-group and required knowledge of either art or feminism would create a more conducive atmosphere for discussion and art-making. The operational implications of these suppositions resulted in a second workshop entitled "Women's Body Image Art Workshop." This class was tested out with successful results at Concordia University in March 2002. Each participant discussed stereotypes with enthusiasm, did auto-biographical artwork related to the theme woman/self and expressed a high level of satisfaction in the overall experience.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Veltman, Heather M
Pagination:xi, 173 leaves : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art Education
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sacca, Elizabeth J
ID Code:1779
Deposited By: Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 15:22
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