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Art-Based Learning: Online Masterclass

What is the role of arts in the world that we live in? How does art-based learning open up new ways of thinking about the future? How do we become the builders of our future using creativity as a tool? Can we activate futures through our art-based learning practices? How do we understand the materiality, politics, and affect of our learning communities?

The Art-Based Learning Masterclass, is a series of short, insightful, critical,creative, playful, provocative, and practical. insights that showcase the core ideas, principles, and practices of the Professorship Art education as Critical Tactics, at ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands.

Following the Art-Based Learning Handbook, the masterclass consists of 6 Modules that help understand the process, practice, and implementation of Art Based Learning to create creative futures. Each module has inputs from 3 key thinkers: Professor Jeroen Lutters, artist and literary scholar Mieke Bal, and researcher and dramaturg Fabiola Camuti. The 3 of them introduce the key concepts, and are followed by the insights from the core community of the professorship and the Art-based Learning Center, to illustrate these concepts in-the-making.

Interactive Learning: Learning Badges

Each module in this masterclass is an invitation for you, the learner, to interact with the material by co-creating and sharing content. At the end of each module, you will find a small task that leads to you producing a component which can be shared to your own social media channels, and tagged with the unique hashtags that help create a global conversation and gallery of Art Based Learning instances. 

Biography segment 

Key contributors

    • Mieke Bal, writer, video artist, and curator
    • Jeroen Lutters, Professor at the Professorship for Art education as Critical Tactics, ArtEZ
    • Fabiola Camuti, Researcher and Lecturer, ArtEZ University of the Arts


  • Famke Sinninghe Damsté, Head of Art Based Learning Centre ArtEZ
  • Marah Haan, Teacher at Hogeschool Windesheim
  • Silvia Russel, Artist/ Researcher, Amsterdam UMC/ ArtEZ
  • John Johnson, Head of Programme, International Masters in Artist Educator.

Module 1

Introduction - What is Creative Thinking in the 21st Century?

#ABLThink #21CentCreative

1.1 Introduction to Art Based Learning

Creativity as a Formative Process

What is Art Based Learning? Why is it important to identify creativity as a transformative force? How do we understand creativity as a formative process? 

With: Jeroen Lutters, Mieke Bal 

1.2 The four pillars of ABL

Can anybody activate creativity? What are the methods through which Art Based Learning becomes manifest? How do we understand the process of Art Based Learning as a framework in our teaching and learning practices? 

With: Jeroen Lutters, Mieke Bal, Fabiola Camuti





1.3 ABL in practice:

What does Art-Based Learning look like in practice? How does it shape our learning in secondary and highschool education? How does Art-Based Learning create transformative futures for young students in the 21st Century?  

With: Famke Sinninghe Damsté

1.4 Learning Badge

Join the conversation! 

What do you think creative thinking is? Record your reply, and share your response using these hashtags:



Module 2


#ABLQuest #21CentCreative

Questions are important tools and have a specific role to play in the context of Art Based Learning. Why do we need to ask questions? Who gets to ask these questions? What happens when questions are uncomfortable? What happens when we are faced with questions that we don’t know the answers to? How do we stay with the questions, and how do we continue to remain critical when questions are often unsustainable?

2.1 Questioning Questions

Staying with Questions (Jeroen Lutters)

Making with Questions (Mieke Bal)

Playing with Questions (Fabiola Camuti)

2.2 ABL in practice:

What is the role of questions in education?

In this video Marah Haan explains how she uses the formulation of a personal question as a powerful tool in her education at Teachers College Windesheim. 

2.3 Learning Badge:

Show us your questions!

Select and upload images and produce an annotation explaining how these images are answers to questions. Ask questions to the world that you occupy. Share your response using these hashtags:


Module 3

Possible Worlds

The idea of Possible Worlds is important in the context of Art Based Learning. Possibility can be a political critique of the system. It allows us, through speculation and fantasy, to see what is wrong with the world that we have. It is a moment of framing the world anew.  In this segment we look at why we need a conceptual idea of the possible, and whether there are limits to imagining possibility.

3.1 What makes the possible possible?

With Jeroen Lutters

3.2 How to imagine possible worlds?

With Mieke Bal

3.3 Limits of the possible

With Fabiola Camuti

3.4 ABL In Practice: Politicising Possibility

With John Johnson

3.5 Learning Badge:

Imagine the impossible

Think of one thing in your reality that you would like to change. Based on that, create a short possible snippet of how things might look different. The idea is to create a concrete hypothesis of how just imagining one principle/structure differently might reshape the entire world that we have taken for granted.

Share your response using these hashtags:


Module 4


Who gets to tell a story and who listens to it? Who are the storytellers in society? In Art Based Learning storytelling is central to understanding and evoking creativity. In this module we will her about the transformative potentials of stories in palliative care, how images generate stories, and how close readings of artworks help us understand why we tell stories.

4.1 Storytelling in ABL

With Jeroen Lutters

4.2. ABL in Practice: Why do stories matter in palliative care?

With Silvia Russel

4.3. How does an image tell a story?

With Mieke Bal

4.4. Why do we tell stories? Close Reading of Images

With Fabiola Camuti

4.5 Learning badge: Building stories

In this module, we saw three images being put into multiple stories from people who read them in different ways. We invite you to join this collective story telling exercise. Pick up one of the images. Create your own 3-5 minute story about the image. Show us where the creative possibilities of meaning making lie.

Share your response using these hashtags:


Module 5

Speaking Objects

In Art Based Learning we meet the concept of the “speaking object”. But how do objects speak and who do they speak to? How can ordinary objects become activating in the context of art and education? In this module we look at two ordinary objects that become extraordinary when you look at them through the lens of Art Based Learning.


5.1. How can objects become activating?

With Mieke Bal

5.2. How can an object become a method for creative learning?

With Fabiola Camuti

5.3. Learning Badge: Make your objects speak

In this module we would like you to pick an “ordinary object” from your life, which speaks to you. Let yourself inspire by Mieke Bal and Fabiola Camuti’s stories of their speaking objects, and help other learners uncover your speaking object by telling the stories hidden within it!

Share your response using these hashtags:


Module 6

Art Based Learning Masterclass - wrap-up event

We claim that art shall change the world. What role do artist-educators have in this process? How does ABL contribute to creating creative interventions to build futures worth living in and worlds worth fighting for? Drawing from the sessions in the masterclass, we invite Mieke Bal, Andrea Ellera Coello, and Jeroen Lutters, to reflect on the need for creativity in the 21st Century and the key challenges that we must overcome to unleash the creative turn.

We invite listeners to ask questions in the chat room, and hope for a lively discussion wrapping up this masterclass.


  • Mieke Bal, writer, video artist, and curator
  • Jeroen Lutters, Professor at the Professorship for Art education as Critical Tactics, ArtEZ University of the Arts
  • Andrea Ellera Coello, Alumna iMAE (International Masters Artist Educator), ArtEZ University of the Arts.

Moderated by: Nishant Shah, Dean of Research, ArtEZ University of the Arts