In The Skillful Teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom, Stephen D. Brookfield has a section called “Surviving Teaching” which addresses teaching as a deep emotional process. Part of the impetus behind the “Performing Pedagogies” collaborative blog is the issue of teaching performance art to students from different backgrounds who may not be very open to the material we teach.
“Is this art?” is the question that summarizes this type of emotional response to works that are challenging of the aesthetic sensibilities associated with art consumption. “It caught me off-guard”, a step ahead in the process of exposing learners to pieces that stimulate our intellect, pose the questions we care about, and address pointed political issues while leaving a lot of room for interpretation and pushing our boundaries of taste and decor.
What to do? How to deal with rejection as another possible emotional engagement of the work?