International Journal of Art & Design Education

Towards a Radical Pedagogy: Provisional Notes on Learning and Teaching in Art & Design

Volume 22.1   2003



This paper presents a personal perspective on some of the ideas and issues that currently surround learning and teaching in art and design within higher education. It aims to stimulate debate and to raise questions about the direction in which an increasingly monolithic educational culture is moving. It identifies a number of beliefs and values that the author considers to be particularly important to the development of a radical pedagogy and argues that the sector needs to counter the drift towards a technocratic and overly deterministic approach to education. While being intentionally wide-ranging and polemical the paper seeks to bring together a number of disparate ideas into a useful and coherent interaction. The continuing relevance of education as an emancipatory and transformative project is affirmed, while certain features of modernism inscribed into current educational practices are questioned (for instance, exclusivity, subjectivism and absolutism). Changes in the ways in which knowledge is viewed are discussed in relation to assessment, learning, research and the construction of the 'self'. A re-orientation of learning and teaching is suggested around a process-based pedagogy that places particular emphasis on indeterminacy, pluralism, revisibility and dialogue.