Campus de les Arts commissions focus faculty training and online learning

In 2021 Campus de les Arts has advanced its professional activity through study commissions. These commissions have focused their efforts on training for professors in the arts and on online learning, amongst other subjects.

The commission dedicated to training faculty in artistic education has studied the challenges and difficulties in pedagogical education for those teaching degree programmes. As established standards and regulations are lacking when it comes to preparing post-secondary faculty dedicated to the arts and culture—a fact which contrasts with requirements for teachers in secondary education—the aim has been to lay out theoretical concerns and establish certain areas of response.

The Faculty Training Commission was coordinated by Professor Asun Llena of the Institut de Desenvolupament Professional [Institute for Professional Development] (IDP-ICE) of the University of Barcelona. The working group, with broad participation of Campus de les Arts participating institutions, focused on perceived needs of educational institutions, with the idea of establishing a framework of reference to improve training and more formally prepare professors in artistic education. The final document of the commission further points to the importance of preparing faculty in the arts for artistic research. One focus area is the proposal to extend artistic and creative training to other disciplines, such as engineering, architecture and social work, while emphasising the growing potential of investigation done jointly by artistic and scientific researchers.

The final document of the commission will be presented in the fall of 2021. Training for teachers in the arts is one of the main focus areas for the Campus de les Arts project, as seen in the proposal to create a dedicated training centre for artistic faculty, the future EFPA.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for education, faced with classroom closures and the shift from in-person classes to digital platforms. “We have sought to explore the complexity of online education, without just centring on the demands caused by the pandemic”, explains Professor Jeffrey Swartz of Campus de les Arts, who coordinated the group. “Reflection on online communities, or the psychological impact of losing face-to-face dynamics, have been just as important as technological considerations.”

This commission dealt with a broad range of subjects related to distance learning. After sharing experiences and solutions of a more urgent nature, the commission moved on to specific related topics. Here various centres insisted on their statutory obligation to provide in-person education, with distance options only activated in exceptional circumstances. In contrast, the experience of the UOC was particularly valuable in understanding the postulates of a university dedicated to online studies as a consolidated practice. In a further session, the commission reflected on technical and technological innovations related to online learning, with specific contributions from ESMUC, ESDAP Catalunya and ESDi. For the next session, Professor Anna Pujadas of EINA presented a reflection on the repercussions of distance learning for pedagogical practice, while this same session featured a guest speaker, researcher Efraín Foglia, who addressed the subject of the meanings and ethics of virtual communities, with the presentation “Political and Aesthetic Dynamics of Digital Communities.”

The final session focused on the subject of the personal wellbeing of students, professors and staff, as well as the psychological and personal repercussions of online learning during the pandemic. The emerging subject of community care, where universities might be reformulated in the terms of caring communities, was also considered. This session featured the experiences and solutions of various participating centres, including LCI Barcelona, which draws on the experience of the international network it pertains to.

A summary of the activity of this commission will be available online in Fall 2021 in the section Documents. The webpage of Campus de les Arts allows all reports and studies related to the work of commissions and study groups to be freely downloaded.

ESMUC presentation to the commission on online education, 2021