International Journal of Art & Design Education

How can we Create the Conditions for Students’ Freedom of Speech within Studies in Art?

Volume 27.2   2008



This study investigates how the dynamics of students’ voice can be productively brought into teaching situations. I have researched the conditions required for constructive freedom of speech, within art education. I explored the potential for vocal peer assessment and for students’ ownership of their educational experiences, for the Teacher-Artist Partnership Programme, 2006-7.
My methodology engages in a dialectical exchange between the philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Michael Foucault, specifically their ethics and interpretations of freedom. This theory was integrated via action research, with the creative learning situation; Sartre’s reflections on freewill, ‘free commitment’ and the ‘free project of a sentence’ are discussed. These ideas are related to Foucault’s stance on personal autonomy, and the individual’s interface with structures of power and knowledge. I have also charted research on student consultation by Sarah Bragg, examining parallels between contemporary perspectives and the views of pragmatist John Dewey.