Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chorotopos

In, "Artistic Learning in Relation to Young Children’s Chorotopos: An In-Depth Approach to Early Childhood Visual Culture Education" Eli Trimis and Andri Savva explore the idea of space and the proximal idea of place for pre-primary learners.


Chorotopos (or space-place), as they call it, is an attempt to include not only the geographical area of a student's learning environment, but also the identifiable places within that environment. In this case they refer to places such as forests, beaches, shops, playgrounds, etc. From there, the details are important as well. So the sand and stones in the beach, twigs and leaves in the forest become objects of investigation and learning for the students as they explore.

The projects designed with this idea of space-place in mind utilize what Trimis has named the "In-depth" process (I'm not going to go into that here). The questions I have about this approach primarily address the practicalities of employing it in different environments. How do they keep the children safe while exploring? At one point they mention students, "tasting" in exploration of the forest. Is that really a good idea? What number of students is advisable? Did they have to get permission slips from their parents?

They conducted their lessons in Thessaloniki, Greece. Having spent some time in a small town in Greece I can imagine how this was possible. However, in Upstate, NY where the population is much higher, and traffic is more prevalent, I find it difficult to understand how such a method of teaching could be safely implemented. Of course, this may just be a matter of modifying the technique to fit the environment at hand.

2 comments:

  1. I definitly agree about the possibility of even being able to allow kids to go on such a field trip. I believe even in one of my questions i mentioned something about the odds off allowing such a trip. One thing i didn't think about was the safety of the kids and how many teachers are actually watching all of them. The odds of NYS allowing such fieldtrips in my opinion wouldn't happen. It would cost time and money and the way school are in the U.S. compared to other countries they might night see how it fits into curriculum as a whole.

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  2. The issue of safety is definitely a factor when considering the chorotopos style of learning. I think if a field trip were approved by a school to go out and create art based on different environment, it would be fairly easy to get extra chaperones for the trip. But how often could these field trips occur? And I think the school would have a problem if the multiple trips extended past the allotted class time for art because it would mean less time for other subjects.

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