International Journal of Art & Design Education

Critical Studies and the Drumcroon Experience

Volume 6.2   1987



The paper argues that the 1986 climate in British art education was dominated by GCSE aims and it seemed certain that, for the first time, there was to be a critical studies component in most sixteen plus art and design courses. With this in mind the author takes stock and reaffirms certain fundamental principles that underpinned the Critical Studies Project. In particular, the author focuses on what might be termed the three-way or triangular relationship, which can be fostered between pupil, artist and environment. Some of the work produced seemed to be strangely two-dimensional, involving pupils in the production of practical work, derived solely from the stimulus of reproductions without any reference being made to the pupils' responses to their immediate environment. However, a crucial element in pupils' descriptions of the illuminating experiences which was so central to the author¹s 1986 book: ‘Educating for Art’ was that of heightened environmental awareness.