A UNSW White Rabbit Collaboration

8 Oct 2018

White Rabbit

The UNSW School of Education is honoured to be the first university to implement a postgraduate course in collaboration with the White Rabbit Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art. This initiative is part of a series of research-focussed collaborations sponsored by Dr Judith Neilsen AM, Director and owner of the White Rabbit Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art and universities supporting research and teaching areas within Visual Arts education. Last week 14 art educators from metropolitan, regional and interstate settings participated in a 4 day intensive course EDST5460 Critical Interpretation, Contemporary Chinese Art & Classroom Pedagogy as part of their coursework in the enrolled in the UNSW Master of Education program.

This course was held both on campus at UNSW and at Dangrove, the new purpose built facility that houses the White Rabbit Collection. The students spent the first day working on recent research and theory informing the learning and teaching of critical interpretation in Visual Arts, a key component of art curricula in primary, secondary and university teaching contexts. On days 2 and 3 the group worked with Luise Guest, Research Manager at Dangrove, who treated them to a unique opportunity to engage with the collection and the workings of this facility in the context of global artworld exchange and scholarship in contemporary art. Participants engaged first-hand with artworks from the collection, some of which had yet to be exhibited anywhere in the world. After researching the artworks and aspects of contemporary art practice in China, the course concluded with students presenting proposals for classroom activities and pedagogical strategies suited to the needs of their own student cohorts. The new knowledge of art and art critical practice acquired by participants during the course will be synthesised in the form more extensive teaching and learning programs and implemented in classrooms.

The School of Education sincerely thanks Dr Nielsen for her support of this initiative and greatly values the opportunity to work with Luise Guest who so expertly introduced the group to the contemporary Chinese art practice within the context of the collection. The experience of linking research, scholarship in art and pedagogical thinking was dynamic, revitalising and will definitely have longevity in the ongoing improvements and quality art education that is offered in contemporary visuals arts classrooms.

We encourage art and design teachers seeking professional learning opportunities through postgraduate study to make contact with Dr Karen Maras: k.maras@unsw.edu.au. Karen can advise about ways you can enhance your understandings of recent research in curriculum and assessment in art and design education within coursework in the School of Education MEd Program.