International Journal of Art & Design Education

The National Curriculum: Reformation or Preservation of the Status Quo?

Volume 14.2   1995



There seems little doubt that in some countries, including England and Wales, education systems conceived in a broad liberal tradition are being replaced by much narrower, utilitarian curricula constructed principally to serve the needs of commerce and industry rather than the wider needs of society. Education and the teaching profession continue to be under pressure from political leaders who demand greater accountability, higher standards and better value for money. In such situations art educators have not been alone in ensuring that their subject receives a reasonable slice of the curriculum cake. With the benefit of hindsight, I suggest that for too long art and design educators have been blind to the underlying politics and, when the opportunity for genuine reform eventually arrives, we need to be more politically astute.