I have worked as an art educator in school, teacher training and university for more than 20 years. My short definition of art education is: Preparing the ground for learners who then may come up with ideas and artwork that go beyond the teacher’s own capabilities. It is the most fascinating job I can imagine, and I do it with great passion.
What I really like about InSEA is the global scale of thinking. It is an organisation (or rather THE organisation) in the world that fosters communication, research, praxis and advocacy of art education at an international level. That is a lot, and I would like to contribute to it as European World Councillor.
Many challenges to art education have long transcended the boundaries between national states. The repression of art as a school subject in the wake of the PISA surveys is the most prominent example with regard to educational politics: around the globe, educational resources are shifted to the so-called “major subjects” in order to perform well in the international competition focusing on these subjects. Art, as a “minor subject”, suffers from this, despite its indispensable contribution to a holistic education of human beings. This is even true of countries that do not participate in these surveys.
In times of globalisation, migration and refugee “crises”, we see nationalism return to a terrifying extent. Simple answers claim that borders between “us” and “them” can be defined easily and accurately. But the world is much more complex. Education has to deal with that, and art education provides some of the most powerful tools for it. In a vivid combination of perception, production and reflection, it can support learners in developing their personal relationship with the world. When we are successful as art educators, we contribute to the individual strength of humans who then see strangeness as a challenge, even a chance for development – and not a threat.
As an InSEA World Councillor, one of my main aims would be to promote communication and research at European and international levels. This includes critical discussions and arguments. In autumn 2020, I am planning to host a research conference on European art education at the University of Koblenz-Landau where I have been appointed Professor of Art Education earlier this year.
I have presented my work and research at InSEA congresses since 2008. As international consultant to BDK (German Art Education Society), I have promoted looking beyond borders since 2010.
I consider myself a team player.
studied art education and political sciences
Artist in Residence at Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester (Essex, GB)
school teacher (11 years)
director of advanced training project for teachers (digital media in art education)
president of Hessian section of BDK (German Art Education Society)
researcher/lecturer at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany (10 years)
member of Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture
sculpture, site specific work, multimedia installation, performance
exhibitions in Germany, England, France
Publications and lectures:
art education and digital media, international art education, transculturality, educational theory, images in education etc.
„Interfaces – Art Education and Digital Media. Theoretical Foundation and Subject Specific Practice“ (full text available in German only, sorry). Published 2016, nominated for InSEA 2017 Doctoral Research Award
Professor of Art Education at University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
International affairs consultant to BDK (German Art Education Society)
reviewer for International Journal of Education through Art (IJEtA) and Synnyt/Origins: Finnish Studies in Art Education
member of ENViL (European Network Visual Literacy)
married, father of the greatest children in the world (aged 17 and 19)