Re/thinking Adult/Child Relationships Through Artistic Practice
Relationships between adults and children are precarious spaces. Embedded within the discursive binaries of adult/child, children are positioned as separate from, and less powerful than, adults. This oppositional view creates attitudes, policies, and practices that relegate children’s ideas to the margins of educational experiences. In Re/thinking Adult/Child Relationships Through Artistic Practice, the authors provide examples of the ways that adults and children come together in artistic practice to destabilize the idea that adults always are (or should be) in control of children’s experiences. The contributing authors show how the arts create spaces of agency and negotiation in which both children and adults expand and deepen their understandings of self and the world.
In Entering the Secret Hideout: Fostering Newness and Space for Art & Play, Shana Cinquemani describes the transformative nature of negotiated spaces between the school and children’s self-initiated drawings. Cinquemani describes what happens when a teacher collaborates with children to extend their art into the narrative spaces of play. In the second essay, The Affective Flows of Art Making, Bronwyn Davies invites readers to consider the transient and surprising things that occur for both adult and child within the rhythmic flows of art making. Artist Barry Goldberg’s essay, Seeing Meaning, in which he narrates his personal experiences working with young children, concludes this section. Goldberg exposes the limitations of words and suggests the possibility of a responsiveness from adults that serves to open and sustain creative thinking.