Illustration Pedagogy for elder learners: Developing a pilot model of transformative illustration learning for older adults in Hong Kong

Project: Research project

Project Details


Illustration enables learners to express themselves and communicate in diverse and versatile ways, leading to rich and dynamic learning experiences for individuals of all ages. In the Manifesto for Illustration Pedagogy, Fauchon and Gannon (2018) emphasize the importance of critical thinking, creative exploration, and interdisciplinary engagement within illustration pedagogy. In Drawing Thinking: Illustration as Pedagogy, Hirons and Brown (2019) explored the concept of Illustration Pedagogy within the framework of Transformative Learning Theory, which encourages students to move beyond being passive recipients of knowledge and take an active role in constructing knowledge by critically examining evidence, arguments, and alternative perspectives (Mezirow, 1997).

Illustration Pedagogy as a transformative learning method is not limited to young adults in universities. Given the rapid increase in the aged population in Hong Kong (19.3% in 2021; projected to be 28% by 2031), it is urgent for us to address the social and mental needs of the million older adults in Hong Kong. By engaging in illustration learning, older adults can also benefit from personal development, decreased loneliness, increased happiness and well-being, and enhanced open-mindedness and mindfulness. The concept of transformative learning aligns with the goals of healthy ageing, as declared
by the United Nations and World Health Organization, by optimizing older adults' functional ability.

As an experienced illustrator, educator, and researcher in socially engaged art practices, The PI questions whether illustrators can act as facilitators and provide transformative learning opportunities for older adults. They seek to determine and design a suitable learning environment for older adults, potentially collaborating with social workers or service providers to meet their learning needs.

To develop a pilot model of illustration pedagogy for older adults in Hong Kong, this research project aims to (1) collect and analyze illustration pedagogy practices in Hong Kong and the world through literature reviews and interviews with illustrators or artists; (2) develop 6-week experimental illustration workshops in 2 elderly centres for practice-based study of the subject matter; (3) conduct focus group interviews before and after the experimental illustration program to study the effectiveness of the workshops.

The research outputs are expected to include (1) a conference paper; (2) public talks and sharing sessions among artists and illustrators in Hong Kong and overseas; (3) workshops with illustrators and social workers; (4) an online project archive and educational resources.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/01/2531/12/26


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