Since 2007, Janneke Wesseling has chaired the theory group at the Royal Academy of Art. During these meetings, theory teachers from all departments of the academy discuss theory education in general, at the academy and in specific departments. Teachers are stimulated to compare experiences, exchange teaching methods and support each other where necessary.

The theory group is a platform for reflection on questions such as: What is the role of theory teachers in contemporary art education? What form could a theory curriculum take? How does theory relate to the practice of contemporary artists and which didactic method is appropriate for this? How can research obtain a more transparent place in art education? In answering these questions, the starting point remains that art and design practice is the embodiment of the relation between thinking and doing: theory and practice are not separated activities.

  • The theory group produces a bi-annual report in which these questions are further explored. Additionally, the report analyses the development of theory education at the academy and gives recommendations for the future.
  • The theory group has initiated several academy-wide education pilots (Docking Station) that are aimed at the integration of art and theory education.
  • In 2011 and 2014, the theory group together with the lectorate organized the Eerste en Tweede Landelijke Dag van de Theorie.
  • The theory group, in collaboration with the lectorate, plays an important role in the realisation of the academy-wide propaedeutic course Research & Discourse.
  • In the fall of 2013, the theory group collaborated with the lectorate to organise the Thesis Lab, about the how and what of writing the final thesis.