Archive for the ‘right brain’ Category

art journaling for kids

April 18, 2014

art journalling by Tammy Garica Tammy Garcia runs this great website about art journaling. If you don’t know how to get started or want to get inspired, go to Daisy Yellow. Tammy provides tons of ideas, tutorials and prompts. Here are two articles  Art Journaling for Kids|Tweens|Teens  and Art Journaling 101

mark making

April 6, 2014

Very nice video on the fascination of mark making – what applies to children may also apply to adults and even the elderly. (I fixed the broken link.)

merrymaking as political protest

May 16, 2010

In 1775 Austrian Emperor Joseph II dedicated a large piece of  land  for the use of  “all the people for their amusement and merry-making”. The park with baroque garden design is called Augarten and I live round the corner, and so it is close physically and close to my heart too. Over the years there have been various attempts to build on parts of the land, which have been for the most part thwarted. But since a few years, the City Authorities in liaison with private investors have been planning to build a large concert hall on one end of the land. Protesters have been squatting on and off for three years now. Political protest has become more playful and performance orientated in the last decade or so, for example in the form of flashmobs. But only in Vienna I guess, protesters would come up with the idea to do it in such style and in baroque style too. After some of the trees were cut down last year to prepare the ground for the building work the activists staged a funeral procession around Vienna. On May 1st, Labour Day, they arranged for a colourful protest procession in full regalia. You’ve got to love the dresses! Makes me think of the work of artist Yinka Shhonibare.

Also, they do the prettiest leaflets! I fear it will all be to no avail.

secret powers & subversive activities

September 26, 2009

Keri Smith’s blog is always an inspiring place to drop by, which got me to buy some of her books. Promoting her new “This is Not a Book” book she posted these illustrations on the penguingroup blog:


She sums up very well what sadly, is many children’s experience. It certainly reflects to a large extent what my son had to go through. I might use this in some teacher training course!

Interestingly the Austrian Minsitry of Education has recently issued an edict demanding “holistic-creative learning culture in schools” outlining how  creativity should be a guiding principle for learning across the curriculum. This is great in principle, yes, but it beats me how educational authorities think creativity can be ordered on demand. As if a whole national school system developed over centuries, designed to stifle creativity will change with the issue of a five page statement. It will take some substantial backing in the form of funding, appropriate teacher training, dedicated and supportive groups of people in key positions, well planned long term strategies, the freedom to take risks and  lots of patience to see some real change. Otherwise it will just remain one more edict which teachers, in reality, are free to ignore.


Which leads to Keri Smiths second drawing in her post on “how I discovered my secret powers: Plot to infiltrate the system.” I think hers is a very good plan – I could do with some more superpowers though :-)

This reminds me of  Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, first published in 1971. While the book sometimes is polemical and sketchy and has to be understood within the context of its time,  it is still an interesting and thought provoking read. It was also published in German, but is now out of print.

structural violence

September 20, 2009

How do you visualize a concept, which implies a complex theoretical discourse and is also embodied in our experience, something such as structural violence?

Sometimes an image search will bring up a series of useful visualisations. Sometimes it is hard to find something that works, so you have to think laterally and  that search may bring up new ideas of how to think about a phenomenon.

Here is what I have come up with for structual violence related to an educational context:




I am not sure yet, if this is what I really meant to say, but it is what I found to be expressive and telling so far. For some reason the images all include writing. Now I wonder, is this a concidence? Or does it say something about how language and literacy is used in power relationsships? Note to self: Read Bourdieu’s Language and Symbolic Power and Foucault’s Diszipline and Punish.

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