This means that the communication of the content in a piece of art or an exhibition fundamentally is a matter of pedagogy. How we design the logotype and the image which is going to carry the exhibition and attract an audience is about pedagogy, because if we pick the wrong font or the wrong picture we may not reach our targeted audience. How pictures are hanged and objects are placed in the gallery will affect how the audience moves through the exhibition and these kinetic patterns will affect our experience and what we get out of an exhibition. This means that this is about pedagogy as well.
So pedagogy is communicative by character. It exists in a social and a cultural interaction between people and artifacts. Since I work in a context where exhibitions are produced I will from now on call this perspective exhibition pedagogy
Why is it important to discuss pedagogy in context with art and exhibitions?
I mean that we need to understand the exhibition as a meeting place, a social arena for meaning making. To the child the exhibition offers a possibility to explore the world around their own self. Through concrete experiences, objects filled with narrations, through playing and exploring, the museum is turned into a perpetual source of events where the child can learn about colors, forms, animals, objects etc. Experiences and narrations which will contribute to a cognitive experience of the self and the world.
To youth the seeking of an identity and the construction if the own self, I-Topia, is a contemporary and a future project at the same time. Contemporary art offers through its multimodality fantastic possibilities for reflection and meaning making on the own self. The exhibition as a medium can function as an arena for youth participation and influence, a social meeting place for dialogue and reflection. I see it as an obligation to society to create these arenas, where also museums have to open their doors for youth and allow for their thoughts and perspectives to be heard.
To many pedagogy is about learning. Others equate learning and education. To me pedagogy is communication and dialogue where we learn in collaboration with others and the world around us. The opening quotation from Vygotsky is interesting from several views. Above all because ha already in 1930 did put the individual at the centre of the learning process. This paradigm shift, where we have moved from teaching to learning, has been accentuated by the web and new media. The process of learning is no longer teacher centered but student centered. For a museum or a gallery this puts the visitor at the centre if things. This means we have to understand exhibition pedagogy from the broad perspective I laid out at the beginning of this blog and not as applied pedagogy. Applied pedagogy is about methods how we work with the audience in an exhibition, school programmes and guides. This is only part of exhibition pedagogy.
To Vygotsky fantasy, play and creativity were key words when discussing learning. Let us understand pedagogy as the process where we in social collaboration develop knowledge and creativity.