Little Kelp - A Digital Story: Finding Space For Diversity Within The “Institution” Through A/r/tographic Inquiry
Last modified: March 13, 2007
Presentation date: 07/19/2007 10:45 AM in Coast Hotel Bayside Room
‘Little Kelp’ is a bubbly underwater adventure story of one piece of kelp’s journey through understanding her own uniqueness. Growing up in her beautiful community, Little Kelp realizes that while she tries to sway and dance with the current like everybody else, she just doesn’t fit in. Only this questions remains: how to go on?!
This digital story, ‘Little Kelp’, asks us to reflect on our own diversity as we participate in schools as teachers and learners. Is there room for our human uniqueness within our institutions? The hidden curriculum within our institutions of higher education and within public schools often asks us to stifle aspects of ourselves in order to fit in. This may include imposed, appropriate, professional (as opposed to personal or emotional), predictable, expected modes of conduct, effort and behavior in order to be successful within the institution. Intentionally or not, we reward each other when we subscribe to our hidden expectations for excellence rather than celebrating the subtle differences we find in others. (Posner, 2004; Eisner, 1994; Osborne, 1999) Our “institution” has stuffed us into boxes that we may or may not fit. We have all seen this in children’s lives, teacher’s lives and academics lives.
As an artist, researcher and teacher, Arts based educational research and a/r/tography (Irwin & de Cosson, 2004) offers me freedom of expression and respect for individual creativity and artistic diversity in academia. ‘Little Kelp’ is my a/r/tographic expression of the space for diversity, which is human difference, within our “institutions”.