International Journal of Art & Design Education

Institutions, Individuals and Talk: The Construction of Identity in Fine Art

Volume 15.2   1996



This paper is based on research in a university department of Fine Art. It is an exploration of the ways in which learning takes place - or fails to - in the spoken interchanges between tutors and students known as 'cross-section crits'. The discussion draws on Harre's model of social and personal development and on a notion of argument to understand the place of shared knowledge and discourse, as well as conflict, in the construction of distinctive personal identity. Three examples of 'crits' are examined. These suggest insights into the culture of the fine art institution and offer implications for the role and conduct of talk and language in teaching and learning.