International Journal of Art & Design Education

What Do Dragons Think About in their Dark Lonely Caves? [1] or Critical Studies: The Importance of Knowledge

Volume 14.1   1995



Increasing numbers of Critical Studies publications are currently reaching the market, with teachers receiving numerous advertising materials and catalogues to persuade them to buy. This paper considers the content and approach of some of these materials, with particular reference to the teaching packs, and examines some of the issues that the decisions embodied in these publications raise for art teachers and for Critical Studies teaching. The orthodoxies that would seem to be developing are worrying, and rigorous debate is needed to expose and explore the grounds on which categories of inclusion and exclusion are constructed. It is argued that such debate needs to be underpinned by knowledge of the paradigms in operation, and that access to such knowledge is essential, for both teachers and students, if Critical Studies is not to degenerate into imaginative speculation or indoctrination.