DEVELOP A STRONG THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR HOW ART AND SCIENCE CONTRIBUTES TO ENHANCEMENT OF LEARNING AND TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION:
Educationally, the proposed cloud curriculum will enhance learning and teaching theory and practice in higher education by developing, modeling and disseminating art and science transdisciplinary learning and teaching strategies. These strategies will focus on context-driven, socially distributed research practices in the creative arts, involving enhancement of new and adaptive ‘Mode 2’ knowledge production strategies that are application-oriented (Gibbons et al 1994, Nowotny et al 2001 and Thompson Klein 2004).
A focus on generative and regenerative approaches to learning and teaching engagement will help facilitate practitioner-led inquiry. Such research activity will embrace the ambiguity and complexity of so-called “wicked problems” (Rittel & Webber 1973 and Cross 2006) said to be at the core of innovation, exploring and utilising alternate academic and modified art/science disciplinary research practices.
Disparate educational approaches, potentially competing discipline-based research presuppositions and different epistemological prescriptions will be actively critiqued, adapted and assimilated. The goal is to enable transgressive investigations, seeking paradigmatically different understanding (Kuhn 1970) and expression of content knowledge and conceptual application of practical skills that result from collaborative and/or collective reinterpretation, visualisation and imaging in post-new media learning and teaching contexts.
Psychologically, this approach to learning and teaching draws equally on personal diligence and shared creative courage to build the academic confidence needed to bring transdisciplinary projects to fruition (Ferran 2006). In terms of ‘actor network theory’ (Latour 1999), this cloud curriculum invokes a critically informed interaction between art and science practitioners operating as colleagues and peers, drawing upon a self-critical awareness by all participants, which underpins conscious identity (re)formation for art / science / technology practitioners and communities during the educational renegotiation and reconceptualisation of the ‘agency’ of materials, processes and ideas (Trifonas & Peters 2004 on Derrida).
Learning and teaching in transdisciplinary contexts might employ a rhizomatic approach (Deleuze 1995) to the development of new conceptual, practical and pedagogical knowledge, skills and understanding. Self-directed, teacher-facilitated and/or community-driven postgraduate student proposals - framed as agreed learning contracts - will involve active engagement with theories of complexity and situated learning in teaching and research experiences located at the juncture of art, science and technology. Current discussion of relevant educational issues suggests the importance of what Candy (2002) and Edmonds (2005 & 2009) refer to as pedagogical transactions around:
  • Reflective recording of creative processes, including failures
  • Multiple planned outputs demonstrating how artistic, scientific and technological goals evolve and are visibly and practically achieved
  • Explicit observation and evaluation of collaborative processes
  • Considered and productive team selection and team building
  • ‘Beta-testing’ of interactive artworks with audiences in realistic socio-cultural contexts
  • Negotiated control / partnership / authorship arrangements to underpin true transdisciplinary collaboration and informs shared aesthetic and technical decision making - affording appropriate individual, group and/or team recognition/acknowledgement for learning and research outcomes.
An iterative feedback loop will be made available via the proposed transdisciplinary website to encourage and facilitate academic and practitioner engagement, networking and professional development as a primary outcome of the design of this priority project. The transdisciplinary cloud curriculum website will facilitate research interaction, while giving access to and promoting ongoing evaluation of the resulting learning and teaching observations, research findings and model curriculum strategies, documentation and resources.