The art of teaching and teaching with art : using avant-garde art to foster active learning in the classroom
Avant-garde art and literature drawn from Dada artists and authors were used to foster authentic learning in a History course. Students read assigned texts to situate the artists and their work in a historical context. They then engaged in a semiotic analysis of dress, viewed and analyzed Dada painting and sculpture, participated in the creation and reading of Dada poems, and considered the question: What is art? As a result, students actively engaged with the ways avant-garde artists challenged traditional ways of knowing and looking at the world and had an opportunity to consider how they can reflect upon, and change, their own views of themselves and their places in the world.