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Title:The Role of the Arts in an iSchool Education
Author(s):Heckman, Robert; Snyder, Jamie
studio learning
information professionals
Abstract:Professional education in Information Schools is predominantly technical and based on a rational, scientific way of thinking about the world. In this essay we make the argument that experience and interaction with the arts – aesthetic experience – should play an important role in the education of information professionals. Our discussion of the role of the arts in an iSchool education is structured around three basic ideas. First, we argue that the arts offer a pathway into complementary mode of thinking and knowing that is not only highly beneficial for the technical professions, but may also be important for the development of a competitive future work force. We refer to this as an artistic mode of knowing, and we discuss both terminology and the characteristics in this section. Second, we build on the ideas of Grant and others that focus on the organizational and societal importance of collaboration among individuals with diverse specialized knowledge. We describe how the skills needed for successful interdisciplinary collaboration are increasingly drawing on both ways of knowing. Third, we argue that much of the work done by information professionals has more in common than would first appear with the work done by design professionals and creative and performing artists, and thus is amenable to the pedagogical techniques employed in those fields. We conclude by offering specific iSchool examples of arts-based pedagogy and include suggestions for incorporating these ideas into an existing curriculum.
Issue Date:2008-02-28
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-03-03

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