… from The Lincoln Centre Institute, New York to the Southbank, London

The capacities have been formulated by the Lincoln Centre Institute (LCI) in New York as suggested approaches to learning in the context of creative arts projects, as well as being understood as a framework for understanding the outcomes of such activities. BFI Education have been looking at their 2012 film, media and creative programming for schools through this LCI-inspired lens in conjunction with that afforded by the still image. Through processes of making, synthesizing, reflecting and questioning, this framework offers a way for learners, teachers and practitioners to engage critically and imaginatively with their work, as well as with their environment and the people within in it.

BFI, Lambeth schools, Hitchcock's The Ring Residency, June 2012

BFI, Lambeth schools, Hitchcock’s The Ring Residency, June 2012

We talked to some of the participants, teachers and practitioners involved in all 2011 – 2012 projects and asked them to give us insights into their learning experience – the moods, modes, processes and outcomes. One parent commented on the Lambeth Schools week-long residency at Southbank, June 2012:

“It’s an amazing experience for them … being in a place like this at The Southbank is very exciting for them… I think it’s important for them to experience working with people from different schools … the arts are a really important part of their education”

The word experience often crops up in the process of interviewing participants, practitioners and audience members during the Cultural Campus projects. People linger on the 2nd syllable endowing the word with some kind of multifaceted meaning which is deeply felt. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that over a sustained period, a mass of unfamiliar and multisensory impressions are being absorbed, mulled over at home and brought back to the ‘workshop’ to be consciously reshaped with peers and expert guidance.

Students are afforded the opportunity to throw themselves into an artistic pursuit and see it through to the end, to grasp the opportunity to learn and see the benefits of collaborative effort. I say ‘grasp’ because in their own time students come to appreciate this alternative way of learning as one that requires intense, personal engagement. This sits in contrast with the more linear, mono-modal and compartmentalised approaches to learning to which they may be more accustomed. In the main, cultural campus activities can’t be described as routes to quick-win gratification, especially in the early stages of a project, however, almost without exception the majority of participants over time buy into the process, taking something of a leap of artistic faith. Ultimately they enjoy an overwhelming and lasting sense of demonstrable achievement.

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