Buffet Culture

Tuesday 18 March 2014

I’ve just returned from teaching a workshop in Barcelona, so energizing to be with 46 other art teachers for 3 intense days of art, culture, and ....tapas. We were there to unpack and discuss the new visual arts curriculum but also to enjoy the comraderie and exchange of ideas. Here's one idea that is food for thought

What’s on your plate?

Each morning, confronted with the enormous breakfast buffet, some of us loaded our plate with everything, only to find that we couldn’t eat it all.

My wise and perceptive colleague Roger Knobs suggested that this is symptomatic of the buffet culture in which we live, and that maybe we need to find distinct strategies for coping with the overload of choices available to us everywhere.


What’s this got to do with teaching art?

I was also struck by one teachers' comment about this website: she said she sometimes feels guilty for not doing more of the suggested lessons, teaching more of the skills, exposing her students to more of the resources available. Enough guilt I say, You can’t teach everything! We are constantly made to feel like we need to avail ourselves of everything out there, visit every cool website, watch, read, consume every brilliant teaching idea available. What would it be like if we just put a considered selection on our plates? Enough to satisfy and nourish ourselves and our students. Can we learn to choose wisely and calmly, at peace with the knowledge that we can never ever teach everything and that what we choose is enough?

Perhaps Roger is right, in order to survive in the information age we need to develop certain skills to live in a Buffet Culture

To select what is nourishing and satisfying

To leave other things off the plate

To know that we can always come back for more….

By the last morning I had honed my breakfast platter down to a much more considered selection, satisfying and without excess. Oh, and we didn’t only talk and eat, some teachers actually took off from our spaceship hotel into outer space....watch the video (thanks Roger)

ninja herb from Roger Nobs on Vimeo.


Tags: Barcelona, 2014


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