I am sure you heard some people say this term! “its so Avant-garde” I had heard this sentence from people describing something new and that it came before its time.
Avant-garde is a french term used by artists who produced works of art that was considered ahead of its time, innovative, explorative, and using new subject matters or forms. We are no longer using only sculptures and paintings, you can see a 3D painting or a carpet with something on top of it that is indescribable? you can see street art that has innovative features and many other things. The term is also used to describe products, architecture, cloths, or anything that is “out of the ordinary”, however it is mainly used for the aesthetics or the artistic look and feel.
I am going to use it on two things, education, and people.
So I have been in the eduction field since 1998. We go to class, we listen to the lecture, we research, we write essays and at last we do exams and we either pass or fail. If you stop anyone in the street and ask them what they did in school, college or university, they will tell you exactly this, and maybe they will say that they had joined a group to research recycling materials or some odd project here and there, but we revolve around a circle that doesn’t have spikes to explore the field of education.
We could be innovative in teaching (using acting, role play, some weird presentation skills, etc) but the material itself that we teach with remain the same, and even if you do research, you are doing it from existing material or subjects. Can we use Avant-garde in education? I mean have we seen “Education” that had come before its time? that extraordinary method or way that you can ponder upon and thing “wow that is so avant-garde” or “well yes I have read about new methods, but hadn’t seen it implemented”. in the ancient greek (those who started education (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_ancient_Greece#Plato_(428%E2%80%93348_BC)) they used to say a child ate, played and then studied. Which means food, first and foremost, is important, and then playing and at last studying. Do you think we can apply this to schools? the students first eat a meal, tell a story, then they play and tell a story, and then they study by experiential learning. and at last they hear what the teacher have to say by make-believe. Also they need to be “writing” or “making things” or exploring the world through the internet. We need to have a camp every day and not just once during the school term. We need to say that “we have avant-garde schools” about our schools.
What about people? can you say that people are avant-garde? I dont mean the profession of the people; well, I have seen people who jump to help others, I have seen many that will go out of their way to accomplish every job that comes their way, and I have seen some who hate their own existence in the world and spend their time complaining. I am not saying that we don’t have great people, we do; all I am saying is that we do not have enough avant-garde people in this world. We may have Avant-garde things but that is not enough.
Just imagine if the 7.2 billion people in this world are Avant-garde, wouldn’t we have an extraordinary world?