Enhancing the teaching of visual literacy

CAPTION: Cigdem Aydemir, The Ride, 2017. Proximity Festival, Perth. Courtesy of the artist. This artwork has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body.

Western Sydney University’s Education Knowledge Network (EKN) has partnered with Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest to present a number of professional development courses aimed at improving the teaching of visual literacy and art appreciation in primary and secondary schools.

The program – open to all NSW-based primary and secondary school teachers – will focus on Up in the Sky I Landing Points, currently exhibiting at the Gallery. This exhibition, which explores race, place and identity, includes a number of works by iconic Australia artist Tracey Moffatt, as well as 11 contemporary Australian artists.

The University’s Associate Professor Catherine Attard, from the School of Education, says courses like this are not only important to keep teachers passionate about their work, but also so they stay up to date with the latest in subject matter and teaching techniques.

“EKN is extremely proud to be partnering with Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest to present such high quality professional development. It’s not often that teachers from our region get an opportunity such as this and our sessions have the added benefit of being accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority,” says Professor Attard.

Manager of Education at Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest, Naomi McCarthy, says this exhibition is well placed to be a starting point for this course.

“The range of artworks on exhibition in the current suite include photography, video, sculpture and painting. The diversity of expressive forms on exhibition provides a rich resource for modelling a dynamic range of art appreciation strategies,” she says.

“The exhibition themes of race, place and identity make this particular exhibition topical, potent, a great catalyst to discussion and applicable to a range of syllabus areas including English, Visual Arts and Human Society in its Environment.

“Teachers continually invest their creativity, intelligence, time and resources into building a strong and resilient student cohort, equipped to face the challenges of a complex and unpredictable future. Professional development of this nature provides an opportunity for teachers to have their own creative and professional well filled through engaging in an experience tailored to their discipline and to the needs of their students.”

This collaboration with the Galley is part of a larger suite of professional development courses presented by Western Sydney University’s EKN. The EKN delivers a diverse range of courses, workshops, conferences and forums focused on developing the skills of early childhood, primary, and secondary teachers. Courses are endorsed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Course details
What: Art Appreciation and Visual Literacy
Date: 19 February (secondary schools), 20 February (primary schools)
Time: 3:30pm for 4pm – 6pm Workshop
Venue: Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest, 86 River Road, Emu Plains
Enrolments via: https://onestop.westernsydney.edu.au/OneStopWeb/EKN/menu
For more information about EKN courses go to: www.westernsydney.edu.au/ekn

Ends

8 February 2018

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer.