The Hive

The Postmodern Classroom as a Collective, Inclusive, Decentralized, Teacher/Student Co-generated, Egalitarian Community/Hive of Inquiry

On this page, I will look at the implications of decentralizing the art classroom through co-generative curriculum and evaluation. In this community the teacher will act more as a facilitator than cultural authority and will allow for student input in constructing all aspects of the classroom, specifically the production of projects and assessment/evaluation procedures.


Co-generative: students have input into assignment creation and assessment specifically as a community that will pose artistic and existential questions to each other and the teacher and shape how art production and textual response is converted into grading.

Collective: a group of people who share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project(s) to achieve a common objective. Collectives are also characterised by attempts to share and exercise political and social power and to make decisions on a consensus-driven and egalitarian basis.

Decentralized: teacher is not the authority, only a strong presence in the community and shares knowledge but is not the single holder of knowledge. The teacher champions multiple ways of knowing and downplays ‘right’ answers. The teacher becomes a learner and full participant of the class and assignments. If your assignments are not exciting enough for you to do them, why would you expect someone else to. “As a teacher, I cannot help the students overcome their ignorance if I an not engaged permanently in trying to overcome my own.” Freire, P. (1998) pp. 89

Egalitarian: asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, esp. in political, economic, or social life. In this case, all students and the teacher are equal in terms of rights, privilages and responsibilities.

Hive: a multi-organismed uber-organism that is not directly controlled by one entity but rather the communal consciousness. Think bees, flock of birds, school of fish. Kelly, K. Out of Control.


Inquiry: the group will go beyond typical ‘Problem Based Learning’ problem solvers and become problem seekers and inquiry initiators.

Institutionalization: the comfort that students have towards the traditional top-down learning format. Teacher imparts specific knowledge on students and gives them the ‘right’ answers. Institutionalization cannot be broken too rapidly without the earned trust and respect of the teacher or students might flounder in the freedom.

Participation: the group can only exist through active participation in generating project topics and responding to them visually and textually and this includes the teacher (not just modeling but learning and discovering too).

Responsibility: the group will need to be responsible for the safety and support of the individuals while the individual will be responsible for working to facilitate the group through active participation and production. The teacher will be responsible for easing students out of the comfort of the traditional classroom.

This website presents some “Elements and Principles of Today’s Art” including Appropriation, Time, Performance, Space and Hybridity with examples (which aren’t necessarily the best), questions and activities.


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  1. * russframpton says:

    Sorry if this is starting to sound like a manifesto. I just got exited.

    Posted 10 years, 11 months ago

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