Abstract

Buck, Peter
Germany
R.613 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 17:10 - 17:40, Room MZH
Multifocal Teaching: The Arts’ Integral Part in Achieving Genuine Comprehension
The roots of our concept of multifocal teaching go down to bilingual teaching and learning as well as to Christoph Berg’s & Theodor Schulze’s didactics which they call Lehrkunstdidaktik (i.e. 'Teaching as an Art', Berg & Schulze 1995). At the same time it is a prolific answer to the demand for a new quality in teaching & learning Science in primary and secondary school (the subjects involved are called, for instance, Naturwissenschaftliches Arbeiten ('NWA') or Mensch, Natur und Kultur, 'Culture, Nature and Civilisation'). Referring to the conference’s leading topic, we’ll introduce this concept and interpret its potential to an audience of teachers and lecturers in Arts and the Arts education as a means to broaden horizons in the classroom. We are in full agreement with the claims that can be read between the lines of the conference’s call for papers for an indispensable shift of emphasis in the debate on educational standards, and with the criticism on the manner – technological and hostile to arts – in which TIMMS and PISA were designed as well as interpreted. In this line we take genuine, authentic comprehension (i.e. comprehension as apposed to pure knowledge) as basic competence for science education as well as for other school subjects, like Mathematics and the language classroom. We want to point out that such comprehension skills cannot be achieved without an active part of the arts. Our concept grants mutual importance to impression and expression (i.e. aesthetics in the full meaning of the word) and claims the interplay of both as a basic prerequisite for any comprehension. Arts, therefore, plays the essential, indispensable and central role for the acquisition of full, complete understanding of science. We will place our teaching concept for genuine comprehension in Klafki’s recently developed system of 'dimensions of significance' within his theory of general education ('the aesthetic dimension of education') and illustrate Husserl’s phenomenology as philosophical foundation to our multifocal didactic, thereby taking language as the constituting medium for comprehension (language in the broad sense of the word, i.e. also the language of a picture). Our understanding of this didactical concept can be summarized as follows: Multifocal teaching as a classroom situation in which the attention is focussed on different aspects, on content, on language and on arts/aesthetics. The advantages of this concept will be illustrated by examples from different multifocal teaching sequences. We’ll end our talk with a claim: Only by means of expressing something in artistic form, by conscious and trained aesthetics, learners can achieve personally significant comprehension.
Co-presenters:
Rittersbacher, Christa
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