Meme layers in the times of pandemic

Helena Sederholm*, Riikka Haapalainen, Tiina Pusa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, art teachers put remote teaching in Finnish comprehensive schools into operation in varying ways. One popular implementation was classical art memes, an assignment that art teachers shared through professional networks in social media. This phenomenon brought out the question: what kind of meanings did art history-related memes construct during the pandemic in Finland? The authors collected and analysed empirical data that consisted of a questionnaire for art teachers (N = 14), students’ meme works (N = 45) sent to the authors by the teachers, and assignments that were given. The research approach was critical inquiry. The main components of the theoretical framework were meme theories and crisis pedagogy, with which the authors confronted the national curriculum. Although Finland has not been among the most afflicted countries by the pandemic, the sudden flip to remote teaching created anxiety and a sense of crisis among teachers, who tried to find a balance between their own workload, students’ confusion with the new learning situation and the demands of the curriculum. The analysis concentrated on four themes: the COVID-19 crisis in meme manifestations, teaching art history, art education through making and art education as copying and repeating. The authors concluded that it is crucial to highlight the conceptualizing and contextualizing of art beside actual art-making. From this emerges an essential challenge for in-service training: critical knowledge production and discourse practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalThe International Journal of Education through Art
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date18 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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