Communities, Creativity and Public Pedagogies

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
Footscray, Melbourne

Friday November 23, 1.30pm – 3.00pm

Priming and Vibing Everyday Life: Tracking the Public Pedagogies of Footpath Gardens
Jesse Hsu

The notion that everyday spaces enable informal learning is a central theme within public pedagogy scholarship. How learning actually occurs in various sites is either theorized from the perspective of an individual’s immersive and aesthetic encounter (Ellsworth, 2005) or simply left unsaid—with pedagogy effectively seen as a ‘deus ex machina’ or a ‘black box’ that inexplicably catalyzes learning (Watkins et al, 2015). This presentation articulates an approach to understanding the public pedagogy of spaces as an ongoing interplay between a given site’s representation and social practices. Through a blend of visual and ethnographic data, this approach is demonstrated to the case of a single verge garden in the neighborhood of Glebe in Sydney. This research draws attention to the link between a space’s design and its pedagogy. In the case of edible verge gardens, attentive design increases the degree of ‘pedagogic agency’ a site has in affecting social change at an everyday level.

PACT: Portable Art Connections Toolkit
Nina Lewis

This session introduces the Portable Art Connections Toolkit as an apparatus for supporting communities in making art together and having creative agency over how the stories, information and practices that matter to them are shared.

Portable Art Connections Toolkit – PACT – is a kitbag containing props and prompts for creating a collective experience of making stories and artwork. It equips communities/users to shape narratives about the things that matter to them and to situate those messages as part of the cultural landscape.

PACT is like an ikea of arts participation: functional, hackable, purposeful, accessible.

PACT comes with a user manual describing one method for activating the kit. Guided to exercise choice, adaptability and negotiation in how they share what matters to them, participants gain agency over their creativity while learning to collaborate with others.

PACT’s point of difference is to both strengthen and see beyond personal narrative, positioning individual creativity on a pathway to collective and community-led process.

This is valuable for individual and social wellbeing. Because participants are encouraged to care about shared context (not just personal stories), they perceive themselves as connected into wider environments. Recognising shared stories as a way of being strong in community helps negotiate trust and respect, promotes social inclusion, and motivates people to work with others to create and sustain shared cultural narratives.

Session attendees will learn more about the method and theory of change underpinning the PACT artkit and the group will test out some of the props and prompts together. Following the session, attendees can request free PACT toolkits to use within their own communities.

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here