Thinking together through pictures: the community of philosophical enquiry and visual analysis as a transformative pedagogy
This qualitative study explores how a community of enquiry pedagogy in combination with a social semiotic approach to visual analysis influenced the changing knowledge and concepts of knowledge experienced by students in an undergraduate teacher education course. The art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa was the focus of our study and students developed structured and logical frameworks for analysing artworks as well as playing with laterally extending concepts such as art, justice, equality and humanity. The findings suggest that the dialogical and embodied practice of a community of enquiry pedagogy and the meaning-making strategies offered by a social semiotic approach to visual analysis strongly influenced my students’ and my own awareness of knowledge as a creative and experiential opening up and as a companion to the equally valuable experience of not knowing. Visual and embodied forms of knowledge explored through artworks forged a link between ‘self’ and ‘learning self’. These findings have implications for the selection of appropriate teacher education pedagogies.