Jessikah Allington

Trust in Education

Publication, 210 x 297mm (2020)

‘Trust In Education’ is a project focused on creating a greater awareness of students opinions and experiences in the united kingdoms public education system. Presenting research composed of answers from a group of 20 individuals ranging from the ages of 16 – 30; the research creates a visual representation of the education system from both the pupil and educators point of view. It’s aesthetic is a metaphor for how students feel in the classroom and how they believe a teacher sees them. The text is designed to confuse and overwhelm the reader the same way a large class of children would a teacher.

The Creator

My theory is that by giving children some say over their own curriculum and not forcefully adding grading systems into their everyday lessons, can we create a trusting relationship that encourages children to come to lessons eager and ready to be productive. exploring the possibility of this being able to create a trust within teachers and students that encourages students to be open about their struggles both at home and in school in order to allow the teachers to help them better achieve their goals by adapting their teaching methods to the class and children. I’m dedicated to to following and researching this theory to an answer that can sufficiently benefit both students and teachers experiences in the classroom.

Contact

JessikahAllingtonArtist@outlook.com

@JessikahAllington

Degree

Arts and Education

Monologues of An Art Education Student #1: Are classes too big?

Whilst thinking and figuring out my intention and main points for this period of work I began focusing on on in particular. That being the theory of quiet children being easily looked over and ignored by teachers in favour of those who are causing a huge disruption. Why are children who are disrupting the class paid closer attention to  than those who are quietly suffering? Doesn’t this concept encourage children to be disruptive as those who are, are paid closer attention too. Are children acting up simply because they are smart enough to figure out that acting up will get them the attention and potentially help that they need to succeed. If this is the case what do we do about the quiet and well behaved children who are constantly being overlooked in favour of these disruptive children. Both have potential issues and struggles they need help with but we as educators continue to attend to those who are misbehaving. Most likely because they are making our jobs harder. However, that’s not the point of education, teaching has never been labeled easy so why do we as teachers try to make it so. The answer to out problems might be in the size of the classes we teach. An average class holds 30 students, with one teacher and possibly a teaching assistant. With ratios of 1:30 or 2:15, how can we as educators be expected to be able to give each individual student the help, attention and guidance they both need and deserve. Is the education system asking too much of our educators and in turn discriminating against the quiet and well behaved children? There’s no arguing that the education system is flawed, but how can we work towards fixing it and making sure all children are given the assistance, education and time required for them to not only succeed but to feel like they are important in a classroom setting?

I theorise that the answer to this can come in the form of adding more teaching assistance or lowering classroom sizes. Of course this brings up the ongoing issues of people no longer seeing being a teacher as worth it financially, however, for the sake of this theory let’s say that we have enough teachers to make this possible. Would lowering the amount of children per classroom encourage productivity of students and create a better educational environment for them?

Monologues of An Art Education Student #2: Why is messy ‘Bad’?

One of my biggest issues growing up in my art education was being told i’m a messy worker, Or that my presentation was not good. This ran throughout my whole education, not just art. I was always told my writing isn’t neat and in primary i was the kid that wasn’t able to have a pen to write in. So my question is what do art classrooms have against mess? Since coming to university and attending current and contemporary art shows i’ve observed that the outside art world and the art classroom are vastly different and have opposite opinions on what ‘mess’ is. In the art classroom everything is so controlled so you don’t make a mess, whereas in the real art world some works of art were made from the classroom’s definition of ‘messy’. Jackson Pollock being a prominent artist with this style. His work has been described by critics and online articles as ‘messy’. In this sense ‘messy’ is considered a praise and positive. Why does ‘messy’ have negativity attached to it in the art classroom. I understand that the classroom has to maintain a certain amount of control of its students in order to be fair. However, so long as the educator in charge saves enough time at the end of the lesson to allow the students to clean up, what’s the issue? I think a huge part of it comes down to messy being deemed ‘unprofessional’ which in a non-art setting is understandable and true, But in the art world mess is widely accepted. I find it saddening that it is not as accepted in the art classroom, the one place children should feel free to make a mess is when they are in art class. Yes art class can be such a controlled environment.

Monologues of An Art Education Student #3: Can it physically exist in the world of covid-19

Nearing the end of the masters and having to finish it online has brought up an emotional response for me and my peers. Online school works for most courses but not for art courses. I’ve spent my entire BA being asked one classic art school question ‘Where does it exist in the world’. However, i want to change this to ‘Can it exist in the world’. With the current climate of covid19 and the majority of final shows and art schools being conducted online, can we make physical work and still expect it to create the point we want and to be viewed how we want?. Does making a sculpture and viewing it in  have the same effect as having an image of the sculpture online would? My answer is no. Physical work and digital work do not have the same output as each other. Artists become attached and invested in their work as they make it and simply posting an image in an online gallery or showing it to you tutor does not have the same feeling of pride as showing them the physical thing you have made. It makes the work you have made and the effort you have put in feel pointless and a waste of time. Although, as artists we do know that this is not the case, our work still has the same value to us and we have been taught that the process is the most important part. However, this does not diminish the feeling we get from simply submitting an image of the thing we have spent hours on. Disregarding how well composed and shot the image is. It is just not the same. It has lost its charm.

Monologues of An Art Education Student #4: Digital work ‘doesn’t exist’.

Why does every art tutor dislike work being shown in the digital realm?, Everytime throughout my art education when I would show my work on a laptop or project, the tutors would scoff as if it is a waste of time.  Now i understand if the work is a physical piece, the tutors wanting to see it how you intend it to be seen makes sense. However, in my BA I found our tutors would be annoyed if we showed images digitally, they always wanted them to be printed off. Even, if that wasn’t how the artist intended them to look. And even if they intended them to be printed off for the show, who’s to say the student artist can afford to print them off to the level they want twice. I think the stigma around digital works in progress in the art school setting needs to be abolished. If that’s how the artist chooses to show their work at that moment, that’s how you should be forced to see the art. This eliminated any hate towards tutors who have this mentality. They can only judge what you show them, but forcing students and artists to show a certain way isn’t going to improve or further their practice. It’s only going to give them the mentality that they have to confine themselves to a tutors thoughts and opinions which in my opinion is the opposite of what I was taught throughout my further education. It eliminates the confusion between what tutors say and how they act.