The Visual Arts Circle is a community of practice founded by writer, editor, trainer and video producer, Anna Whitcher, and teacher, trainer, award-winning writer and international conference speaker, Kieran Donaghy, made up of language teaching professionals, teachers, teacher trainers, writers, editors, researchers, designers, illustrators, artists, photographers, and filmmakers, all with a shared belief in the value of visual arts – drawing, painting, sculpture, design, crafts, photography, video, and filmmaking – in language education. We believe that incorporating visual arts is an extremely effective way of improving the quality of teaching and learning, particularly in the field of language teaching. Through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group our members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop personally and professionally.
Membership of the Visual Arts Circle is completely free as we want the group to be as inclusive as possible and we understand that many teachers cannot afford the membership fees of teaching associations.
We intend to:
- engage language teachers in practical uses of the visual arts in the language classroom
- encourage a dialogue between language teaching professional in order to share activities and creative approaches to the use of visual arts in language teaching
- bring together like-minded professionals so as to build a creative and vibrant visual arts community
- open the group to all those committed to its values and objectives beyond the language teaching community
- publicise the value of visual arts in language education through articles, books, conferences and workshops, videos, films, and social media
- seek cooperation with any recognised organisation which shares our ideas and values
We hope to make a difference through:
- involving professionals in multiple fields and at all levels
- providing opportunities for our members’ professional development
- promoting educational research on language learning and the visual arts
- promoting pre-service and in-service teacher training on the use of the visual arts in language education
- demonstrating the benefits of visual arts in language education with practical and useful guidance from experts in a variety of fields
- using the visual arts in language teaching to promote social justice and peace.