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Expanding Environmental Awareness in Education Through the Arts

Crafting-with the Environment

  • Book
  • © 2022

Overview

  • Introduces a theoretical framework for sustainable practices in Art & Craft education
  • Shows how interdisciplinary approaches across creative practices can contribute to increased ecological awareness
  • Suggests how ecological ethics perspectives can be included in educational research and education

Part of the book series: Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education (LAAE, volume 33)

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About this book

This book presents diverse processes of crafting that bring humans, more than-humans and the environment closer to one another and, by doing so, addresses personal and educational developments towards ecological awareness. It discusses the human-material relationship, introduces posthuman theoretical entry points and reflects on the implementation of such theoretical perspectives in education. The practical examples of crafting-with the environment, the material practices and reflections posed in the book, provide insights into possible ways of levelling out human and material hierarchies. 

The chapters of this book give examples of artists' and crafts people's processes of thinking through materials and with materials, but also their reflections on how more-than-humans (animals and plants) craft from available materials, and how the environment and landscapes re-craft themselves through tedious processes of transformation. These case examples are founded on theauthors' own experiences with phenomena they are trying to understand and critically explore.


This book is of interest to professional creative practitioners, art and craft educators, art teacher educators or researchers in the field of creative practices. It has power to inspire rethinking of present educational practices, to ignite critical reflections about materials and more-than humans, and, hopefully, motivate transformations toward more ecologically sustainable ways of life. 


Chapters "Crafting in Dialogue with the Material Environment" and "Soil Laboratory: Crafting Experiments in an Exhibition Setting" are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.se via link.springer.com.


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Keywords

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Theoretical Perspectives

  2. More-than-Human Crafting

Reviews

This is a fascinating account of an emerging philosophy of art, in which all artists are seen to be interacting with some aspect of nature. In the interaction the two change each other. The artist learns about changes already occurring in the environment and how they can be researched and used in her/his practice. The many fascinating examples will be of interest to any artist and especially to art and craft teachers and their students, whether in schools or elsewhere, as well as to researchers in art education. 
The book is likely to appeal to both environmentalists and artists, and to researchers and students of both. Some of the many aspects of nature discussed are shearing sheep and alpaca to card and spin their wool, keeping bees, following animal trails, making pottery from various local soils, exploring an abandoned gravel pit. I highly recommend its use by artists, researchers and teachers of art and craft everywhere.” — Professor Michael Parsons, the University of Illinois, Champaign

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Visual and Performing Arts Education, University of South-Eastern Norway, Horten, Norway

    Biljana C. Fredriksen

  • Department of Visual and Performing Arts Education, University of South-Eastern Norway, Notodden, Norway

    Camilla Groth

About the editors

Biljana C. Fredriksen is a professor of Art & Craft education and teacher educator at early childhood teacher programs at University of South-Eastern Norway. During her 25 years long teaching practice, she has conducted a number of research projects in collaboration with her students, young children,  and early childhood practitioners. Her most recent studies address embodied, experiential and aesthetic entanglements among more-than-humans. Striving for practice based on an idea of evolutionary aesthetics, Fredriksen’s research deals with ecologically holistic understanding of learning where she poses questions about how esthetic approaches to learning can contribute to increased ecological awareness in students of all ages. She is leading the research group Learning and Teaching for Sustainability (LETS), and she is her university’s representative in the International Partner Network of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Lifestyles. Fredriksen’s most recent publications are based on her co-existence with horses and alpacas, and her own process of becoming ecological through close encounters with more-than-human inhabitants of their rural farm landscapes.  


Camilla Groth is a craft practitioner, researcher and teacher with a Master from Royal College of Art, London and a Doctor of Arts degree from Aalto University, Helsinki. She has a background in ceramic crafts and many years’ experience of studying, teaching and working in the field of art, design and craft, in Europe and Japan. Her creative work has been exhibited in Tokyo, London, Paris, New York and Helsinki and has been acquired by the Finnish state art commission. Her research interests concern experiential knowledge and materiality. Groth has studied embodied making and learning in craft practice and in her recent work also in interdisciplinary collaboration. She has developed an interdisciplinary educational platform for material thinking and learning that encourages reflection on the student’s relationship with materials.  In her role as associate professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway, Groth is leading the research group Embodied Making and Learning, in which the aim is to develop knowledge related to embodied making practices, its role for both individuals and the society and the learning that goes on in these human-material interactions.




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