Monash University

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Learning Labour

posted on 2017-10-04, 22:30 authored by Kym Maxwell
Learning Labour explores the ethical and aesthetic realm where my teaching and art practice intersect. Whilst employed as Performance Arts Teacher at Collingwood College I formed the Collingwood College Theatre Troupe, which became the case study for this research. Through the research I contemplate agonistic approaches to formal and informal learning, on the part of both teacher and students, through an ethical lens. As a result, an ‘exhibition project’ is created, which looks closely at the production of a theatrical work, its context and delivery, processes, aesthetics, its politics and its motivations.

The research has involved observing, and at times challenging, the parameters of student and teacher behaviours within the state education system. This has entailed navigating the tension between ethics and creative determination, and transgressing conventions of teaching by situating the project in a field of cultural production outside the educational setting.

The project draws into focus the agonistic learning that can happen within schools as a positive outcome of criticality in education. Through the production of a socially-engaged theatrical work, this research evaluates the child and indeed the education system as political subjects; the social hierarchies of the pedagogical that are learnt implicitly or explicitly through the ‘hidden curriculum’; how self-organised and anti-democratic processes engender agonism and antagonism within an educational setting; and the complexity of the ethics of representing co-authored work in a University research context.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Spiros Panigirakis

Additional supervisor 1

Helen Johnson

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Fine Art


Master of Fine Arts

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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