Landscapes of Everyday Aesthetics: Reflective Arts Performance and Special Needs
Narratives lie in metaphorical spaces, fictional and non-fictional autobiographical spaces, where students’ stories are voiced in many different ways, gestures of exchange, voices in written and arts reflections and performance that become less-guarded, more vulnerable expressions of daily living and learning. I share my narratives about my work with special needs children with undergraduate university education students to question teaching practices by re-viewing blurred borders between self-made definitions of educator, learner, and researcher. I explore invested reflective silent spaces in re-listening and re-hearing beyond fringes of the teacher/student relationship.
I expose vulnerability, self reflective re-hearing with image and sound, multi-layers of storytelling in a communal living landscape. I (re)search through musical forms and non-forms at my ocean home, accessing nuances of motion and emotion through embodied rhythms of breathing while absorbed in photographic imagery, flute playing, swimming, and writing. I invite the unexpected, the mysteries of knowledge. I hear Snowber describing an aesthetics of everyday life: “Many times our deepest places of discovery are found in surprise…In the end, our deepest engagement with knowledge and aesthetic experience may be mystery… Aesthetic experience woos us. Knowledge woos us.”
I challenge students to be open to the unexpected in our aesthetic landscape of every day. I ask them to assume responsibility for their positioning in silence between sounds and sound imagery of many layered texts in our shared landscape. By listening deeply to embodied silent sources of voice and by critically reflecting in moments before and at the moment of creating and performing, students risk feeling new aesthetic expressions as learners and educators.
Keywords: Aesthetic Inquiry and Teaching Practices, Phenomenology, Reflective Arts Performance, Embodied Voice, Autism
Dr. Lorna Ramsay
PhD Candidate, Arts Education
I am a PhD Candidate in Arts Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada. I am an instructor at SFU, and a mother of four sons.