Arts-based learning in vocational education: Using arts-based approaches to enrich vocational pedagogy and didactics and to enhance professional competence and identity
This article discusses in what way arts-based learning can complement and enrich vocational pedagogy and didactics. It examines how artwork and artistic, educational practices can enhance professional and vocational skills, develop creativity and cultivate working identity and character, and thereby reinforce the connection between school and work life. The article presents theories that explain in what way arts-based work may enhance subjectivity and personal development processes. Some principles of vocational pedagogy are used to actualise how these learning approaches may contribute to the professional field. The data are obtained between 2009 and 2015. The material is based on experiences and results from different courses in Creative Communication, and a three-year bachelor’s degree programme in Design and Crafts at the Department of Vocational Teacher Education at Oslo Metropolitan University. The article summarises how arts-based learning processes can enhance professional and personal competencies and the ability to see oneself in relation to others and society as a whole. It reveals how these learning approaches can create a sense of free space, improve dialogue, reflection and collaboration and strengthen gestic knowledge. These qualities can be of great importance in finding oneself as a vocational and professional practitioner in present and future working life.