W3: Whoops Apocalypse:DaDa, Hoch and collage

Week 3

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century


Prep work: everybody was asked to read, look at or work through:

Blogging: http://ds106.us/handbook/blogging/  

Giroux on Freire: http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/93016:lessons-to-be-learned-from-paulo-freire-as-education-is-being-taken-over-by-the-mega-rich

Info-Ed: dialogue, praxis and education: http://infed.org/mobi/paulo-freire-dialogue-praxis-and-education/

Lastrefuge: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/artmooc-week-four-through-lens-lessons.html

Simulations and Role Plays: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/economics/simulations-games-and-role-play.pdf

Summerhill – experiments in emancipatory education: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/

The idea is that by now:

We are *all* blogging about our learning and this week, W3, the first Learning Log had to be submitted for formative feedback. It would be really useful if every week, everybody puts a link to their reflective blog in the Comments box to the class blog so that a student-to-student dialogue happens, as well as a tutor-to-student dialogue. You know it makes sense!

Tip: When you do follow up the day’s activities with some additional reading or further activity – put your reflections on that in your learning log as well.

If still not blogging follow these links and just START:




This week: simulations and collage 

Simulation#2: Post-apocalypse

The apocalypse is over: what systems and strategies will you put in place to ensure survival? What education systems would be most appropriate and why? 

We had a Panel judging the pitches put forward by various protagonist groups. The Panel had ‘been elected to judge the Education Strategies that have been suggested by the survivors – in the following categories:

  • Year0-5 Education Strategy
  • Year5-10 Education Strategy
  • Year10-15 Education Strategy. 

Roles for Panel Members:

  • A survivor who was super rich – and who still hopes to find their buried treasure.
  • A survivor who was an entrepreneur.
  • A survivor who was a Trades Unionist.
  • A survivor who was a Teacher’s Assistant.
  • A survivor who read a lot of Freire.’ 

The Panel had to imagine the needs of the people who emerged from the Bunkers – and then the needs of people after five and then after ten years. They had to consider the merits of the various plans – as judged against their own criteria for a successful education system. 

Whilst the groups were discussing their plans the Panel had 20 minutes to discuss:

  • What is the purpose of an Education System for a society?
  • What is the purpose of an Education System for an individual?
  • Whose interests do you think an Education System has to serve?
  • What education system or strategy would you put in place – and why?
  • If you had to sum up the ethos or values embraced by your perfect education strategy – what would they be? 

Remembering that the bunkers had the following facilities:

  • sewage system
  • water
  • seeds
  • some clothes
  • several books
  • some medical facilities but no operating material
  • a few greenhouses. 


Each group had lively a discussion about the nature of the world they were inheriting and the world that they wanted to create by the systems and Education systems they wanted to develop. The Panel considered each pitch with a seriousness and responsibility that was truly impressive. Big take away message for me was how important, to all the participants, were social justice and equality of access to meaningful education. There was great emphasis on very practical and human education systems designed to teach people how to feed themselves and others – and how to maintain order, health and justice. Some but not all thought that the super rich and the entrepreneurs would have much to offer the new society that was emerging – everybody thought that the trades unionist would have an important social justice role to play. 

In the process of the exercise everybody was encouraged to think, discuss, listen, analyse and evaluate arguments and ideas. Most people had the opportunity to engage in ‘quick and dirty’ group presentations – and to speak to and be heard by the whole cohort. 


      Explain why you feel your choices were made.

      What influenced your decisions?

      What does this tell you about your own values and beliefs?

      How might this affect you as an Educationalist? 

Take away questions;

  • What is the purpose of an Education System for a society?
  • What is the purpose of an Education System for an individual?
  • Whose interests do you think an Education System has to serve?
  • What education system or strategy would you put in place – and why?
  • If you had to sum up the ethos or values embraced by your perfect education strategy – what would they be? 


This week in class we explored visual thinking and visual practices through the medium of Collage – theory and practice: 

Collage – what

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage:

Collage – why

  • References or can draw into the art or reflective process, current events – news – pop culture…  
  • Juxtaposition of signifiers – a modern artistic style that places different meaning-makers (signifiers) into new relationships with each other. The effect can open the eyes to new insights and new meanings. The pieces in the work have a dialogue with each other – and multiple potential dialogues with the viewers.
  • The incongruous is brought into meaningful relationship with the ordinary[5]
  • It can be “at once serious and tongue-in-cheek”
  • Concept and process are valued over end product… it’s not about ‘art qua art’ but about conceptual thinking and engaging in a productive and thoughtful process – through which new meanings created. 


Patchwork quilts or palimpsests are forms of collage – where multiple meanings can be created by the juxtaposition of words perhaps and images. We considered several different approaches to creating collages: 

Photomontage (Main article: Photomontage)

  • Photomontage is the process (and result) of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs.
  • Can be photographed – converted back into a seamless photographic print.
  • Viz. image-editing software – compositing.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hamilton-appealing2.jpg 

Surrealism Surrealist:


  • Dada /ˈdɑːdɑː/ or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century.
  • Born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I.
  • Begun by a group of artist and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.
  • Rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition.
  • The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara‘s and Marcel Janco‘s frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name “Dada” came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to point to ‘dada’, a French word for ‘hobbyhorse’.[2] 

Especially the work of Hannah Hoch:

We discussed the collage process by looking at Sandra’s recent collages:

Collage in action

Each participant was asked to free write on: What is a successful educationalist and with that writing and those thoughts in mind, begin assembling a self portrait (of the artist as an educationalist):

–        Either making up a literal portrait

–        Or the more representational. 

The follow up activity was to write Artist Statement with Peer Mentors:

1.  Explain your process (medium and technique).  How was it made?  Which art materials and approaches did you use and why?

2.  Describe the idea behind your artwork.  What story or message does it get across?  What does it mean to you?

3.  Why did you create it?  What are your reasons for creating that specific art piece?  What do you want your audience to feel and think while observing it? 

Everybody seemed to engage with the task – and many intriguing and stimulating collages were produced – or in the process of being produced. Hopefully, next week we will get the chance to see all the collages – and to consider the artists’ statements. *** Of course – everybody can upload pictures of their collages – with their statements – to their own blogs and share with all of us!! *** 

Follow up:

Check out Access Art – a charity dedicated to bringing art and art processes into education: see for example:






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