MAVA (Art Education)

Description of the programme

The master’s degree was motivated by a need to harness the critical social power of art in an era of globalisation and social reparation by engaging both potential and established art educators. The programme is premised on the belief that the creative and critical practice of teaching and generating art is instrumental in the creation of an imaginative and socially conscious citizenry. Moreover, it takes as a starting point the unequal social relations that characterise South African society, and, within the educational context, the dominance of particular theoretical and intellectual paradigms that perpetuate histories of subordination. It sees the field of creative arts as fertile ground upon which to contest boundaries of social inclusion. The programme aims to develop inroads to greater collaboration between educational practitioners, intellectuals, artists, cultural activists, students and communities.

Programme structure

The programme consists of a prescribed course work component and a research and thesis component. The course work modules include:

  • Learning Theories
  • Citizenship and Art Education,
  • Globalisation and Art Education, and
  • Service Learning (Art Education).

Assessment of these modules is done through written assignments that are submitted electronically. After the prescribed course work is completed each student undertakes an individual research project and completes the Thesis (Art Education) module.

There are three contact sessions throughout the course of the year; one during January, one in March/April, and one in June/July. These sessions fall during the school holidays.

The programme encourages socially relevant research where issues are investigated in the class/work situation, taking into consideration the context, and often making use of empirical and qualitative research methodologies. Some points of focus within the fields of art and education are issues such as social transformation, institutional accountability, collaborative knowledge production, South African-focused research, aesthetics and popular culture. The lack of responsiveness to the African context is evident in many South African universities, but also works its way into the problematic state of primary and secondary education in South Africa. The aim is that engagement between people working at different levels ‘on the ground’ in the fields of art production and education will hopefully produce research with social relevance to the service of local application, and at the same time maintain global relevance.

Aims of the programme

  • To create socially conscious graduates who would be able to practice as qualified art educators, and to engage established educators in the transformative potential of art.
  • To promote responsiveness to a South African and African context, both within academia and school curricula, and to develop partnerships between the University and its surrounding environment (schools and educational initiatives), both through the curriculum itself and the professionals qualified through the degree.
  • To develop and maintain a high research output in the fields of art and education, and within these fields to lead research in social transformation, institutional accountability, collaborative knowledge production, aesthetics and popular culture, and encourage cross-disciplinary academic collaborations and a scholarship of engagement.

For more information

Prof Kathryn Smith | Coordinator: MAVA (Art Ed) | +27 21 808 2082