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Nordic contemporary art education and the environment: Constructing an epistemological platform for Art Education for Sustainable Development (AESD) Nordic contemporary art education and the environment: Constructing an epistemological platform for Art Education for Sustainable Development (AESD)

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Author(s): Helene Illeris

Journal: InFormation : Nordic Journal of Art and Research
ISSN 1893-2479

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
How can art educators address questions of environmental sustainability, accepting to be ethically normative but avoiding becoming dogmatic? How can the complex ‘pool’ of knowledge generated in and through art education research become useful in working with these questions, which many of us find overwhelmingly difficult? AESD – Art Education for Sustainable Development – is a concept coined for this article with the intention of bringing environmental problems onto the agenda. In an attempt to provoke the necessary discussion about environmental sustainability in art education, the article examines selected texts from recent Nordic research in order to build an ‘epistemological platform’ that might function as a research-based ‘tool’ for discussing environmental issues. The article is organized in four sections, which refer to the four ’cornerstones’ of the platform, where each cornerstone corresponds to a recent current in art education. These currents, as defined by the author, are: critical art education, poststructuralist strategies, visual culture pedagogy, and community oriented visual practices. Using selected Nordic texts as material for the analysis, the epistemological perspective of each current is briefly presented and its relationship to evironmental questions is discussed. In the final discussion, eight keywords are presented: praxis, change, performance, reflexivity, visuality, event, situatedness and collaboration. When put together, these concepts offer a dynamic picture of the ‘pool’ of ideas offered by contemporary Nordic and international research, which will be useful for  ‘performing’ AESD both as teaching practices and as research.How can art educators address questions of environmental sustainability, accepting to be ethically normative but avoiding becoming dogmatic? How can the complex ‘pool’ of knowledge generated in and through art education research become useful in working with these questions, which many of us find overwhelmingly difficult? AESD – Art Education for Sustainable Development – is a concept coined for this article with the intention of bringing environmental problems onto the agenda. In an attempt to provoke the necessary discussion about environmental sustainability in art education, the article examines selected texts from recent Nordic research in order to build an ‘epistemological platform’ that might function as a research-based ‘tool’ for discussing environmental issues. The article is organized in four sections, which refer to the four ’cornerstones’ of the platform, where each cornerstone corresponds to a recent current in art education. These currents, as defined by the author, are: critical art education, poststructuralist strategies, visual culture pedagogy, and community oriented visual practices. Using selected Nordic texts as material for the analysis, the epistemological perspective of each current is briefly presented and its relationship to evironmental questions is discussed. In the final discussion, eight keywords are presented: praxis, change, performance, reflexivity, visuality, event, situatedness and collaboration. When put together, these concepts offer a dynamic picture of the ‘pool’ of ideas offered by contemporary Nordic and international research, which will be useful for  ‘performing’ AESD both as teaching practices and as research.

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