n South African Journal of Higher Education - Moderating emotional dimensions of learning in a visual arts curriculum through critical citizenship education




This research explored the emotional dimensions of learning within the ambit of social transformation and critical citizenship in a visual arts programme at a South African higher education institution (HEI). Focussing longitudinally on student learning experiences, the study generated data through interviews with and reflective writing of arts students and their lecturers over three consecutive years. The results showed that the facilitation of social transformation through critical citizenship education in visual arts involves processes of moving beyond stagnating in emotional reactions towards rational reactions. The aim to rationalise caused both arts students and their lecturers to refrain from intellectualising emotions as emotion is a crucial part of being human. It appeared that remnants of conservatism, self-preservation and survival may have resulted in actions stemming from historical and societal preoccupations. The results also suggested that critical citizenship education appeals to both emotional and rational actions of arts students and that moving towards rationality in visual arts curricula may increasingly moderate or correct the emotional part of arts education.


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