Artists as Inviting Personalities for Self Exploration and Social Learning at School


  • Martha Ioannidou Faculty of Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Art History, Learning through the arts, Art Education, Self improvement, Social Inclusion, Cooperation, Mixed ability classes, Art therapy


In today’s increasingly fast-paced societies, undergoing reformation in the aging schooling systems in order to prepare children to subdue the high amounts of pressure and stress and lead productive lives seems to be moving slowly, compared to the unexpected rhythms of the socio-economic changes. In that context a programme has been created at the School of Primary Education, based on the belief that art shouldn’t rest only in the frame, but become itself a frame of the children’s experiences, a means for self-exploration, enhancing at the same time social learning and cultural responsiveness in schools. At current stage we explore whether and how artists as inviting personalities can become an example to children for building their own identity, while opening widely the borders of relating effectively to others or to life’s varied phenomena, as they learn how to communicate the subtleties of who they really are and what they believe in ways that words usually fail to fully capture. Children are asked to choose as a self-companion through their school year an artist, who greatly benefited from the arts’ unique power as a tool for shedding light on his/her self-knowledge and for overcoming difficulties as well as a means of fostering meaningful connections with his/her social and cultural environment. Curricular goals and learning units are approached by adapting innovative and effective teaching practices through the arts, based on the life and work of the artists children have chosen.