Photo: Riku Saastamoinen
The Pedagogical Living Room December 1st at Theatre Academy

Pedakävelyt (pedagogical walks) website launched at Pedagogical Living Room

”What does 'a good pedagogue' mean to you?”

 

“1. One who encourages

2. Warmth

3. Can step aside and let the participant(s) shine" (thoughts by a visitor of the Living Room)

 

The Pedagogical Living Room, held on the first of December, showcased the practices of the students in the Pedagogy studies for teachers at the Theatre Academy.

"The purpose of the Pedagogical Living Room was to be a casual event where people can meet one another, network, ask questions, wonder, find new points of view, and get to know us, the new art pedagogues", says Hanna Gibson, an actor and a clown care performer.

"The event was inspiring and served its educational purpose", comments actor Janne Kinnunen.

The website Pedakävelyt ("pedagogical walks") was launched in the event. The 2017–2018 class of teacher students have collected their suggestions for pedagogical practice on the website.

Walk must be understood broadly as journeying: as a concrete act of walking outdoors, as a performance tour, as a video interview with someone from one's past, as writing cards for old teachers, and so on. What was shared between these practices was the theme of encountering. 

 

The teacher's studies — current and full of possibilities

The 60-credit-point Pedagogy studies for teachers, which accept applicants every two years, give dance and theatre professionals the possibility to gain the pedagogical competence while working.

“I noted that these pedagogy studies that are done after one's Master's Degree, are not very well-known in the field”, mentions playwright–dramaturg Paula Salminen. “During our studies, questions of teacher's responsibility and use of power, and misuse of those in theatre and dance teaching, became a topic discussed in public. In our studies we could reflect on these questions, unravel our own experiences, and think about our own pedagogy in relation to power and responsibility. So the studies were of this age and porous in relation to the surrounding reality."

 

The studies are lauded openly:

"My goal was to gain more knowledge on the essence of art pedagogy, and the theories and practices surrounding it", says Anni Heikkinen, a dance teacher from Oulu. “I found guidance to all of these in our studies."

Janne, who has worked over 20 years as an actor, describes the studies as having given him an opportunity to stop and learn how to verbalise the own craft. "The studies awoke the excitement —anew— toward the pedagogical possibilities of art and theatre, and the belief in my own capabilities of changing the world through art education." 

"A super wonderful possibility and experience!!!" tells Hanna. ”Without this education many doors would have stayed shut and I would have spun in circles. I realise I'm more brave at thinking and looking at things from new points of view, and I allow myself to be who I am." 

 

Pedagogical walks and the showcase of the class 2017–2018 can be found at www.pedakavelyt.com 

The Pedagogy studies for teachers at Theatre Academy (in Finnish) can be applied to in the autumn of 2019, and the studies begin in 2020.

 

Text: Kenneth Siren