Learning through Objects: Transformative Pedagogies in Practice

lady with objects

23 Nov 2016

9.30am to 4.30pm

Objects have been used to support teaching and learning since the earliest days of art and design education, but it was not until 2002 that Paris* coined the phrase ‘object-centred’ or ‘object-based’ learning. This term is now widely used to describe the process of learning through and from objects.

Within participatory learning environments, objects can stimulate curiosity and ongoing interest. The transaction between the object and the viewer enables meaning construction, while decoding objects develops transferable skills such as critical thinking and communication and can help to develop deeper understanding of one’s own assumptions and beliefs.

*Paris, S.G. 2002. Perspectives on Object-Centred Learning in Museums. Routledge, Mahwah, NJ.

What will I learn?
This teaching platform will offer an opportunity for art and design educators to explore emerging best practice and articulate the specific contribution of art and design to the wider academic field of object-based learning.  Themes covered by the day will include the use of archives and special collections in teaching, the object as mediator, the role of object-based teaching in developing skilled hand function and objects as a source of curriculum diversity.

Who should attend?
This event is open to tutors, lecturers, technicians, study support tutors and librarians who have an interest in using objects to facilitate learning, would like to know how to use them better, or have practice to share.

Teaching Platform Series 
This event is part of a series hosted by University of the Arts London, exploring key issues in art and design teaching and learning in higher education.   
Each event includes leading speakers sharing current thinking in creative education and is designed to be interactive: delegates will have opportunities to engage in activities to support networking and engagement. 

Programme (subject to change)
0930-1000 Coffee
1000-1015     Introduction
 Susan Orr (Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement, UAL)
 James Macdonald (Dean of Acadmemic Development and Quality, LCC)
1015-1115            Collections based workshop session
 Graham Barton + Sarah Mahurter, UAL
1115-1130            Coffee
1130-1230            Object Based Learning World Cafe
 Jason Copley (Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching, LCC) 
 Various table hosts, including:
 Amanda Briggs-Goode, leader for the Lace archive at Nottingham Trent University
Twitter: @briggsgoode
 Graduates from UAL 
1230-1330            Lunch
1330-1415            Keynote: 'Performing Matter: Objecting Stuff'
 Dr Zoe Laughlin (The Institute of Making, University College London)
1415-1500            Working with the June Givanni Pan Africa Cinema Archive 
 Dr Alison Green (Course Leader), June Givanni and students from the MA CCC    
1500-1515            Coffee
1515-1615            Plenary Zine making workshop    
 Introduced by Sarah Mahurter (UAL)
 Zine production: Frania Hall, UAL, Keith Martin UAL

For more information about Teaching and Learning at UAL visit the Exchange website.  To subscribe to our mailing list for more details about these and other events, please email teachingexchange@arts.ac.uk, or follow us on Twitter @UALTLE.

Speaker Biographies 

Graham Barton is an Academic Support Coordinator at the University of the Arts London.  Following an early career in commercial real estate as a Chartered Surveyor, Graham changed to parallel careers in performing arts (as a musician/producer) and in Higher Education (English for Academic Purposes, Learning Development). His educational interests have emerged from these personal transformations, and areas of pedagogic research interest include academic study as practice, self-enquiry for learning, and creative methodologies for developing student systemic and epistemic cognition.

Jason Copley is Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement at London College of Communication.

June Givanni is a pioneering international film curator who has considerable experience in film and broadcasting for over 30 years and she is regarded as a resource for African and African diaspora cinema. The development of the Pan African Cinema Archive is based on her collections from years of working in the field of cinema. Her motivation for the archive is to make this valuable heritage collection as widely accessible as possible. Twitter: @JG_PACA

Alison Green is an art historian, critic and curator with twin interests in contemporary art and the legacies of Modernism. She teaches history and theory of art at Central Saint Martins where she is Course Leader of MA Culture, Criticism and Curation. Her book, When Artists Curate: Contemporary Art and the Exhibition as Medium will be published by Reaktion in 2017. She holds a PhD from Oxford Brookes and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, both in the history of art. Twitter: @CSM_MACCC

Frania Hall is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for MA Publishing at London College of Communication, UAL. She has wide experience from over 20 years in publishing and continues to consult and train within the industry. She is author of the textbook, The Business of Digital Publishing. Her research areas are in digital publishing, collaboration and networking for creative projects, creative organisation management and business modeling. For the Creative Industries Management Research Hub, visit www.cimrh.org. Twitter: @Franiahall

Zoe Laughlin is a co-founder/director of the Institute of Making and the Materials Library project. She holds an MA from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design and obtained a PhD in Materials within the Division of Engineering, King's College London. Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of materials, her work ranges from formal experiments with matter, to materials consultancy and large-scale public exhibitions and events with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery, the V&A and the Wellcome Collection. Her particular areas of interest are currently The Sound of Materials, The Taste of Materials and The Performativity of Matter, with outputs ranging from theatrical demonstration lectures to the making of instruments and features on both radio and television. Twitter: @zoelaughlin

Sarah Mahurter is a Manager in the UAL University Archives and Special Collections Centre. Twitter: @UAL_Archives

Keith Martin (Senior Lecturer, UAL) has spent many years in multiple disciplines, from graphic design and print production to writing, software development, and virtual reality photography. Alongside his teaching he is a judge in the annual Digital Magazine Awards, editor in chief of the International VR Photographers Association, and was MacUser magazine's Technical Editor for many years. Twitter: @ThatKeith