Landscapes of Everyday Aesthetics: Reflective Arts Performance and Special Needs

By Lorna Ramsay.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Narratives lie in metaphorical spaces, fictional and non-fictional autobiographical spaces, where students’ stories are voiced in many different ways, gestures of exchange, voices in written and arts reflections and performance that become less-guarded, more vulnerable expressions of daily living and learning. I share my narratives about my work with special needs children with undergraduate university education students to question teaching practices by re-viewing blurred borders between self-made definitions of educator, learner, and researcher. I share my stories as I explore invested reflective silent spaces in re-listening and re-hearing beyond fringes of the teacher/student relationship, invested like the archaic term ‘besieging’, surrounding risky processes in surrender of voice in comfortable pace and rhythm of sound and silence. I expose vulnerability, self reflective re-hearing with image and sound, multi-layers of storytelling in a communal living landscape. I (re)search through musical forms and non-forms at my ocean home, accessing nuances of motion and emotion through embodied rhythms of breathing while absorbed in photographic imagery, flute playing, swimming, and writing. I invite the unexpected, the mysteries of knowledge. I challenge students to be open to the unexpected in our aesthetic landscape of every day. I ask them to assume responsibility for their positioning in silence between sounds and sound imagery of many layered texts in our shared landscape. By listening deeply to embodied silent sources of voice and by critically reflecting in moments before and at the moment of creating and performing, students risk feeling new aesthetic expressions as learners and educators.

Keywords: Aesthetic Inquiry and Teaching Practices, Phenomenology, Reflective Arts Performance, Embodied Voice, Downs Syndrome

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.303-310. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.130MB).

Dr. Lorna Ramsay

PhD Candidate, Arts Education, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I am a musician, poet, photographer and educator with experience in Special Education. In my narrative inquiry, knowing who I am as an artist/learner/educator means researching my embodied voice. I consider teaching as reflective arts performance developing imaginative portals around borders of my identities. May, 2009, I received my PhD in Arts Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada. I am an instructor at SFU and a mother of four sons.

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