Notes on First Secondment Unit of University of Macerata (Italy)
Researchers: Flavia Stara, Rosita Deluigi, Giuseppe Capriotti
a. Persons participating from UNIMC, where it took place, etc (general info)
The first secondment within TPPAE project took place from February 11th to March 19th 2020, in Kenya – first in Kilifi at Pwani University, and later in Nairobi at Kenyatta University. The research team from the University of Macerata is composed by: prof. Flavia Stara, prof. Rosita Deluigi and prof. Giuseppe Capriotti, all three appointed at the Department of Education, Cultural Heritage, and Tourism at UNIMC. The Italian team conducted research, teaching, and organizational activities in both Universities in compliance with the actions planned in the specific project work packages.
b. Scope of talks (it is worth considering separately plenary talks and Board meetings).
At Pwani University the team participated in a board meeting with the Polish and Kenyan partners, to present and organize the work phases to be carried out during the mobility. Subsequently, the team participated in a plenary meeting with partners, beneficiaries, and local stakeholders involved in the project, to analyze, discuss, and evaluate all the possible opportunities and actions necessary to design a course of study in art education to be delivered at Pwani Univeristy. At Kenyatta University the team participated in a board meeting with Polish and Kenyan partners, to organize and schedule the disciplines to teach during the stay at Kenyatta in the art and design department.
During the entire period of the mobility, the Italian team periodically held informal meetings with Polish and Kenyan colleagues to discuss research topics related to the project as well as actions for its implementation.
c. Arrangements / things that you particularly noticed / important observations.
During the stay at Pwani University, the Italian team lectured in: Propaedeutic and Methodology in Art education, Studies on Cultural Heritage, and History of Art. All the lessons had a large participation from students interested and motivated in receiving specific training in art education. During the lessons the students interacted very actively with the teachers, who chose a co-teaching methodology in order to give a transdisciplinary scope to the lectures. Students created artistic productions and were encouraged to critically reflect from a trans-cultural perspective on all the topics addressed by the teaching team.
During the stay at Kenyatta, the Italian team lectured in: The present and future of art education, Visual language in the arts, and History of art. Furthermore, the Italian researchers were “Shadow lecturers” in the following courses in the Department of Fine Arts and Design: East African Art, Improvisation in Painting, and Form and Content in Art. The teaching experience at Kenyatta was also very positive. The students, although not numerous, demonstrated strong theoretical-practical dispositions in the study of artistic disciplines, as well as maturity in the analysis and mastery of technical language.
The team noted, along with Kenyatta’s colleagues, how the small number of students attending the lessons was mostly due to the short notice to organize and advertise the lectures. They all agreed on the importance to better plan said activities in the future, to involve a much larger number of students who could enormously benefit from the international interaction provided by the TPAAE project.
d. Information that part of the arrangements have been made, and the next are to be implemented in working groups at later dates, etc.
The Italian team also worked on the organization of the Festival of Artists, a key event in the project to be held in Kilifi both to promote local artists and to bring adults and children closer to the world of art. Within the Festival, the team is responsible for a specific activity dedicated to children, and in view of its organization the team held meetings with the local partner Beneath the Baobabs to explore all the resources needed to achieve a successful and sustainable event. During the stay in Kilifi, the team visited various primary schools and local associations in order to assess their extent of participation in the Festival. Some propaedeutic activities were carried out, like workshops with pupils (in co-teaching with teachers) and briefings with the board of teachers and principals of the schools. The interactions with some local associations (connected with Pwani University) aimed at involving youngsters as volunteer resources in the festival.
In addition, the team, during the stay both in Kilifi and in Nairobi, met several African visual artists as well sculptors, and visited museums and art exhibitions, making connections with people relevant to future interactions within the project.