Switzerland & Southcaucasus

What could you learn about the school system you are used to and your understanding of art?


  1. Davit Hovhannisyan

    Hello dear friends. First of all I would like to say thank you to Artasfoundation headed by Dagmar, Shoghakat, Anne, Olivia, students and translators. I am glad to be in touch in a few days.
    Sevada and I discussed about our experience with our docents at the chair meeting. We presented the program and had a interesting discussion. Many questions were asked about the similarities and differences between methods, tasks and topics. Sometimes our opinions on what we have observed were very different. Ever since I returned from Switzerland, I am trying to add some changes to my methods and class work. Since there are many similarities in our and the Swiss programs, I can easily adapt what I found interesting in Switzerland and what we figured out together to my art classes here. I want to make tasks more interesting for students. I teach drawing and sculpting with a pre-approved university program. During my stay in Switzerland, I found out after talking to and discussing with teachers (Andrea, Priska) that they also teach by curriculum, but may change from time to time in the curriculum and program themselves. For example for the 1-st course Drawing lesson, I have changed the task when I figure the student’s abilities and skills allow this. Then I would “complicate” the task (students originally would have had to draw a Greek portrait; I changed the task to human portrait). Painting material, paper tone and texture (besides pencil also sangina, sepia, coal, chalk). Those changes are interesting for the students. I support the students to follow a freer approach to their drawing. For example, to deviate a bit from academic drawing and perform the task more freely, to their preferences. Sometimes I organize discussions and exchange opinions on tasks. I put the pictures together and compare them with the students so that each other expresses an opinion about each others works. After the individual work, I am trying to create a teamwork-situation and also try to provoke feedback. For example, there was a question in one of the discussions in Zurich and I asked myself: Did the student understand what I had explained? With the questions I’m trying to check to make sure.
    Visiting museums and watching the Contemporary Performance festival Giswil impressed me. It is very interesting and exciting to study the art and culture of other nations. Analyzing this experience gained during the exchange program, I think that the experience I have gained is not necessarily only to reflect on my teaching work. The program can change myself not only as a expert and lecturer but also as a person and citizen. There are values, standards of human relations, mentality that are different between Armenians and Swiss. And there are many things I try to change about myself and my surroundings now. In the course of time, I may better analyze the experience I have received and review my approaches further.

  2. Bastian

    My learning experience is hard to describe, because I learned many things in different aspects of teaching and the exchange with our armenian friends also changed my approach at different things. My first big learning experience was the aspect of language and its role in teaching and communication. Since language was always a topic we had to take into consideration, I was able to experience different levels of (mis-)understandings. What does it mean to communicate without a common ground of words? I noticed that communication through art is a valid possibility and teaching in a foreign language isn’t impossible at all. It can even be made into a topic for the class in itself, as we’ve seen in the lesson of one group.
    I also learned a lot about co-teaching. This is the most important aspect for me, since it changed my perception of the possibilities of co-teaching. Collaborating with different views opened up my view and also challenged me to really think about reasons and arguments for my decisions, but also pushed me to try to understand views of others. My third learning experience was to see a different, academic approach with a focus on drawing and painting. This pushed me to think about basics in art education. What could be a universal skill, something every child should learn? Should skill based aspects in teaching be more common in swiss art education? I am thankful for all the experience I gained and for all the new ideas I got during this exchange.

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