De (on)bevangen leerruimte

Isabella Rosa Giacomelli (Fine Art in Education, Breitner Academy) graduated with her thesis titled "De (on)bevangen leerruimte." The study is centered around social (un)safety, aiming to elucidate influential factors within art education. It particularly focuses on the uncertainties faced by beginning art teachers in providing both a creatively secure and challenging learning environment.

Isabella reflects: "A safe learning environment often appears intangible, a sentiment experienced in professional practice that cannot be exclusively articulated in words. Why is there a significant disparity between the aspiration for a secure working and learning environment in arts education and the everyday realities of practice?"

Drawing insights from the media landscape and professional literature, the thesis addresses the issue of social insecurity within art education from diverse perspectives. Isabella conducted various interviews and surveys with art teachers, utilizing these insights as foundational elements for the design of an arts education research instrument. The model serves as a bridge, translating theoretical concepts into the practical realm of art teaching.

De (on)bevangen leerruimte

"The integration of her background as a designer with the execution of the research brings her work closest to art-based research, transcending traditional domain boundaries."


Gina Sanches, lecturer didactics and research supervisor Breitner Academy: "Isabella has shaped a very relevant design research for her graduation. ‘De (on)bevangen leerruimte' responds to the need for a socially safe environment and at the same time the space to create. It does so in an artistic and experimental, but highly effective way.

Based on her own experience, extensive literature research and field exploration, Isabella has designed a teachers' manual that makes room for social safety and offers space for creation. She very artistically designed a visualisation of the relationship between these areas. The visualisation is effective and offers insight for both the student and the teacher."

From the jury report of the ZOEK!prize, Marike Hoekstra, researcher, lecturer and visual artist and Krien Clevis, visual artist/curator/researcher: "Isabella's research takes a close look at the current topic of social safety. According to the researcher, the critical eye that was also directed at art education in response to #metoo has implications for all levels of art education. The research is strongly fuelled by her role as an expert by experience (initially as a student in The Hague and subsequently as a student of the Breitner Academy and teacher of secondary art education) and (therefore) connects to current issues about unsafe situations in art education. 

Her fascination and personal involvement speak both from the choice of subject and from the idiosyncratic way she approached the research from different perspectives. Of particular note is her highly methodical approach to using media knowledge about #metoo as a basis for scientific educational theory, and then translating it into a more 'experimental' assignment."


A project by:

Isabella Rosa Giacomelli