Bead Circle detail – ©Thurle Wright
A Pedagogy of Curiosity – If our senses are an inherent and essential basis for learning, how can the role of these senses be more widely described and understood, examined, valued and used to stimulate curiosity and the imagination in everyday life?
Might a robust Pedagogy of Curiosity be derived from such research? And if so…what might it look, feel, sound, taste and smell like?
Sense perception is fundamental to shift the value base that determines our behaviour, individually and collectively. Influencing the values by which we live and relate to our environment and to other human beings has never been as important as now. In the face of the precariousness of our existential conditions – given the threat of global climate change and projected mass migration, accelerated population growth and the scarcity of natural resources – a change of relationship to nature and the environment, as a value and not as a commodity, as well as a shift in attitudes and patterns of consumption in the developed countries and beyond is essential for human survival.
We explore the undervalued embodied knowledge of our senses and their contribution to a full and fulfilling sentient human existence. We look at sensory possibilities in the 21st century in relation to resilient living, urban planning and public pedagogies. We encourage a new body of 21st century sensory skills and competencies to emerge from our research to contribute to a major shift of values that foster an imaginative re-engagement on a day-to-day basis with each other and our environment, both natural and man-made.
PAL Labs of the Senses begun in 2006 – to date and continuing have produced residential experiments led by scientific, aesthetic and pedagogic enquiry on an equal basis. These experiments have inspired projects and publications in Paris, Vienna, India, Mexico and London. The evaluation of this research engages scientific, artistic and pedagogic criteria as an integral part of its process. Susan Benn and Professor Kerstin Mey co-direct A Pedagogy of Curiosity research. We invite you to join in our thinking around ways in which new forms of scientific and artistic experimentation and unexpected sensory ‘in(ter)ventions’ can occur. We seek contributions from artists who use the senses as their medium, from leading research scientists and scholars, from curators of museum and galleries as well as science communicators and forward thinking educators to share their sensory understanding with us and their curious publics.
A Pedagogy of Curiosity is a pioneering interdisciplinary research project and platform to refocus on the centrality of the human sensorium and embodied experience. This research, at the interface of art, science, education and policy making, aims to address key societal challenges and their underlying value hierarchies.
Director of Research and Enterprise and Professor in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts