Our educational method
Visual language is where we start.
The guide will adapt their approach to each target group, from kindergarten pupils to those with a disability or from a non-Dutch speaking background. We want pupils or students to give their own meaning to works. The guide points things out to them, sets them on their way and, above all, listens. Mu.ZEE is moving away from the passive experience and opting for interaction. Viewing art with children. Knowledge of certain terms, the ‘visual aspects of an image’, makes it easier to talk about art. We want to teach them this vocabulary. We do not confront young children too directly, but whilst talking about the artworks it is nevertheless possible to casually touch upon a few visual aspects, such as form, colour, composition, light, dark, shadow and texture.
When engaged in art appreciation with different target groups, and while mapping out our museum tours, we base our efforts on Parsons’ theory:
Stage 1: Association – a connection with your own surroundings
Stage 2: Representation – what does the artwork represent?
Stage 3: Expression – what does the artist strive to express?
Stage 4: The use of visual concepts as a way of thinking about art.
Stage 5: Aesthetic philosophising – viewing the artwork within the wider cultural and historical context.
The concepts outlined above are recapitulated in each subsequent stage. The different phases are partially dependent on the age of the participants and partly upon their development, knowledge and experience. Children of kindergarten age are in the first stage. At primary school age, they evolve into stage 2. The majority of people do not get further than this, even in their adult lives. Art lovers can often be found in stage 3. Stages 4 and 5 require a more ‘professional’ interest in art.
From now on, we will be basing ourselves on the learning styles of David Kolb and Visual Thinking Strategies (MoMa).