Switzerland & Southcaucasus

Author: ZiTa

Number 6 school

School number 6. The school was on the outskirts of Sukum/i, situated on the main road, only 50 meters back from the coastline. Not far away, a derelict railway station, built in 1950s grandeur, sleeps, as loud engines and dusty cars speed pass. School begins at 8:30 and has 5 classes for primary school pupils, 6 classes for secondary school pupils. A lesson has duration of 45 minutes, with intermissions of 10 – 20 minutes to break, rush to the next class, or eat. In the courtyard that we see on the photo here, parents catch up on the news, as they wait to collect their sons and daughters.



What pedagogic techniques in art class?

Primary schools in Sukum/i seem to be structured in a traditional, authoritative way. Here, the pupils are encouraged to copy the teacher exactly, with litle room for personal interpretation. While a show/copy strategy can be effective in specific contexts, in Switzerland we don’t often use this pedagogic style in art classes. This photograph shows pupils, who present their uniform landscape to us, their guests.


Draw out of intuition

In short concession, sounds collected from around Sukhum/i were played to the class. This exercise was aimed at shaking the student’s idea of drawing perfectly, or just drawing objects. Instead, it should encourage them to draw out of intuition, and to think about how the sound was made – the movement that made the sound. on the drawing depicted here, the pupil translated four different sounds in four different ways. This kind of outcome was very encouraging for us, because it meant the pupil had understood our instruction and had experimented.


draw out of intuition

Interpretations of sound

After playing a variety of short sounds, that we had recorded from the urban environment of Sukhum/i, the students were asked to take out a new blank piece of paper, and this time they were instructed to listen to a longer sequence. This longer sequence had a narrative structure: There were two characters, firstly a woman walking down some stairs outside, with birds chirping in the background, the opening of a door, turning on a washing machine and feeding her cat. The second character, the cat, can be heard in the background, as she enters the laundry room and then again meowing in thanks, when she receives her food. The students were asked to draw what they had heard as they had heard it.

See the photo for example: Like many of his fellow pupils, this pupil of about 7 years had focused on drawing the sound elements as objects, such as tree leaves, the cat and a washing machine. However, this pupil also had understood from our previous presentations, that representing movement in the drawing was a further possibility for translating sound. Here this pupil drew dashes and circles in what we can read as beeps from the washing machine turning on, as well as water starting to flow, and the cat food falling into its dish. This pupil was able to merge two different interpretations of sound in one drawing.


Incorporating elements of sound; tone, movement, rhythm, volume

elements of sound – tone, movement, rhythm, volume

This drawing indicated that the child had learned what we had hoped it would learn, namely incorporating elements of sound – tone, movement, rhythm, volume – into a drawing. Instead of just drawing the object creating the sound, this young participant drew not only what he saw in his mind – the train as an object – but also the sound originating from  the train tracks, the wheels and the carriages.

«Художественные вопросы»

«Художественные вопросы»
Обмен между молодыми преподавателями искусства из Швейцарии и из стран Южного Кавказа.
Проект «Художественные вопросы» объединяет молодых людей, которые готовятся преподавать художественное образование в школах и живущих в Швейцарии и на Южном Кавказе. Проект предполагает сотрудничество и обмен опытом.
Встречи состоятся в Цюрихе и Сухуме, и в следующем году в Цюрихе и Ереване.
В обоих местах они Будут участвовать в совместных семинарах,
обсуждать с преподавателями дидактические и методические вопросы
и тестировать их в короткой школьной практике. Также состоится встреча между представителями
школ. Они обменяются мнениями о своем рабочем контексте, вопросах преподавания и разрешении
практических и теоретических проблем.
Конечной целью проекта является содействие обмену между молодыми людьми из двух стран
и из разных культурных контекстов. Разница в учебных подходах из очень разных педагогических систем вполне ожидаема.
Осознание различного культурного опыта в вопросах образования должно предоставить пространство для новых импульсов, которые могут быть реализованы позже, во время преподавания в классе.
Знание других культур и понимание совершенно других условий жизни – важный инструмент для начинающих педагогов, которые учатся работать в обществе, которое становится все более мултикультурным.

2018 Сухум / Цюрих
9-20 апреля: Семинар и практическая работа в Сухуме / И, Абхазия *
3.-14 Сентября: Семинар и практическая работа в Цюрихе
2019 Армения-Швейцария
Апрель 2019 года, 14-дневный семинар и практическая работа в Тавуш, Армения
Сентябрь 2019: 14-дневный семинар и рактическая работа в Цюрихе

artasfoundation, http://www.artasfoundation.ch/de/project/artmatters

Mercator Foundation Switzerland –  https://www.stiftung-mercator.ch/de/projekte/auswahl/

BA and MA Art Education Program ZHdK –  https://www.zhdk.ch/arteducation.

Art Matters

An exchange between young art educators from Switzerland and from countries of the South Caucasus

In the ‘Art Matters’ project, prospective young art teachers, educated in Universities in Switzerland and the South Caucasus, come together for an exchange; the first one between students from Zurich and Suchum/i, the second one between Zurich and Yerevan. In each exchange, the participants discuss didactic and methodological issues within the groups, the local tutors and lecture in short internships in the local schools. In addition, representatives of the different city’s school authorities meet to discuss their working contexts and options for action and future perspectives.

The main goal of the project is to promote the exchange between young people from different backgrounds. By comparing pedagogical approaches from different contexts, implicitness become visible. An awareness of cultural heritages in educational approaches should create space for new impulses, for impulses, which can later be passed on in the classroom. An acquaintance with cultures, and the ability to imagine an everyday-life under different conditions, constitute an important tool for prospective educators.

2018 Sukhum/i – Zurich
April 9.-20.: Workshop and practical work in Sukhum/i, Abkhazia*
Sept. 3.-14.: days of Workshop and practical work in Zurich

2019 Armenia-Switzerland
April 2018, 14 days of Workshop and practical work in Tawusch, Armenia
Sept 2019: 14 days of Workshop and practical work in Zurich

artasfoundation, http://www.artasfoundation.ch/de/project/artmatters


BA and MA Art Education Program of the ZHdK –  https://www.zhdk.ch/arteducation.

Mercator Foundation Switzerland –  https://www.stiftung-mercator.ch/de/projekte/auswahl/

* artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly with regard to the conflict regions should not be construed as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.

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