Transforming Preschool Teachers’ Practice and Understanding of Early Art viewing: Ideas from an Experimental Art Museum-based Professional Development Workshop

By Rajka Bračun Sova.

Published by The Arts Collection

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

An experimental professional development workshop on the paintings and drawings of Zoran Mušič (1909–2005) from Slovenian public and private collections, temporarily exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, was designed for preschool teachers. The training aimed at reflecting current preschool art education and practice, which is centred principally on art-making activities, with an obvious lack of art appreciation. Mušič’s landscapes, portraits and the series We are not the Last (an extraordinary portrayal of concentration-camp life) as well as the artist’s style, served as a challenging tool to discuss the pedagogy of early art viewing. Having little experience with visual art objects in museums, preschool teachers engaged in artwork in new and different ways through personally meaningful and peer collaborative activities. This paper demonstrates how the complexity of teacher learning in a specific professional development context can be addressed.

Keywords: Professional Development, Preschool Teachers, Early Art Viewing, Art Museum Pedagogy, Zoran Mušič Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.187-200. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 10.376MB).

Rajka Bračun Sova

University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Rajka Bračun Sova is currently a PhD candidate and a part-time collaborator within the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana. In academic year 2008–2009 she delivered lectures and seminars in art history at the Department of Visual Arts Education, and she stayed with the department for another academic year. In 2009 she joined the project Professional Training for Practitioners for the purpose of implementing elements of special pedagogical principles of the Reggio Emilia concept in the field of preschool education 2008–2013, co-ordinated by the Department of Preschool Education. Her work experiences and research interests focus on museum education (including lifelong learning in museums), with particular reference to education in art museums and galleries. She is also interested in museum accessibility and accessibility of public art in the context of social inclusion. Rajka Bračun Sova graduated in art history at the University of Ljubljana (2005), and obtained her master degree in museum and gallery management from the City University London (2006). During both studies and beyond she gained experience in art museum education (National Gallery of Slovenia, National Portrait Gallery, London).

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