The relationship of the arts to education, particularly to adult education is difficult and full of conflicts.
Why is this?
Today’s values concerning education are based on usefulness, on tangible results, and on producing individuals that fit in society. Education is purpose driven.
Moreover, education, as it is today, is not about being something in a defined space of time, but about becoming something, a project of postponement of the today for a tomorrow. A student is a transitional being, someone following a path in time, step by step, a chronology determined by a before and an after.
Art practices, on the contrary, can be seen as a vertical cut in the flow of the chronological time, an immersion in a timeless time. A deepening in the present that makes sense of the past and future of that moment. Under this perspective, art practices are not a discipline of learning, but a practice of being here and now, focusing primarily on the development of the self.
Is this a valid perspective?
This is of course an artificial dichotomy, a purely conceptual view, because in real life, the arts are as much a discipline of learning as education is a search, sometimes a desperate search, for making sense of our existence at a particular moment in time.
One way or another, these two blocks play an essential role in our learning process, passive or active. As products or producers, as objects or consumers, we are part of a species, humankind, whose only common ground is perhaps an on-going perpetual learning process.
Thus, the arts and education can be considered as two different approaches to learning.
The project N-arts is trying to articulate and understand the relationship between them better, and how they can complement and benefit from each other.
We, the trainers, are at the centre of it. Our aim is to make a case of bringing education and arts closer together in the common goal of learning.