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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An inquiry into knowing, learning, and teaching art through new and social media Castro, Juan Carlos


This dissertation is offered at a time when new and social media are becoming a significant part of how teens and adults relate, know, and learn in North America. New and social media are forming networked social spaces which are overlapping and permeating places of schooling and which need to be woven into learning and teaching. However, the deployment of new networked digital technologies is not enough; new conceptions of curricula and pedagogies are needed to address shifts in knowing and learning through new and social media. Responding to this, art educators have been calling for the incorporation of contemporary art practices into curricula and pedagogies, and articulating learning in relational and complex ways. This exploratory design-based research study inquires into the intersection of these three strands: how knowing, learning, and teaching art are affected by new and social media; how an inquiry-based art curricula and pedagogy, as drawn from the practices of contemporary new media art and complexity thinking, may be theorized and enacted; and how art learning takes place at the individual and collective scales as it is enacted in curriculum, pedagogy, and social network space. This study examines a designed and enacted curriculum and pedagogy in a social network space which involved participants from one secondary school visual arts department. Fifteen student participants, from grades 9 through 12, and 5 adults, including myself, inquired through art using new and social media. Questions arose during this inquiry, such as: Who and what is considered a knower and learner in a social network space? How does a dynamic system of collective ideas, resulting from artistic inquiry, shape and get shaped by the learning of individuals in a bounded collective? What and who teaches in such a collective? What roles do identity performance and construction play in participation and the learning of art online? All of these questions form an inquiry direction that seeks to interpret and represent possibilities for art education through new and social media.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International