Journal for Learning through the Arts
Unknowing in Circles: A Story of Artful Inquiry as Praxis
- Author(s): MacKenzie, Sarah K.
- Wolf, Mary M
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.21977/D97110006
This paper shares a story of community, vulnerability, art-making and possibility that arose within the context of a Social Foundations of Education course. Drawing on arts-informed epistemologies, the authors began the semester by inviting students to critically engage with the central ideas of the course through the process of creating a mandala. At the end of the semester, students were once again invited to (re)create their mandalas as they reflected on how their understandings had evolved over the course of the semester. Within what was initially a very uncomfortable act, a community emerged as students sought to support and encourage one another. This sense of community remained consistent across the course of the semester and students regularly returned to the initial activity as a starting point during class discussions. Using this particular classroom experience as an illustration, this paper posits that it is important for educators to engage their students in centered, aesthetic and communal acts of reflexivity as a means to facilitate the development of fluid pedagogies and ways of being in the world that are informed, critical, and transformative.