International Journal of Art & Design Education

Killing the Goose: Conflicts between Pedagogy and Politics in the Delivery of a Creative Education

Volume 24.1   2005

Dineen, Ruth & Collins, Elspeth


This article arises out of a research project which looks at the promotion of creativity in pre-degree and undergraduate learners in art and design. The project considers ‘conceptual’ definitions of creativity and its promotion which have been evidenced by research, and ‘operational’ definitions and delivery methods used by lecturers and students in the art & design sector. The theoretical understandings and empirical evidence thus gained reveal the continuing existence of a radical and potentially effective pedagogic idealism within art & design education. However, a comparison between theory, experience and current realities, leads us to the conclusion that the existence of this educational desideratum is threatened by the commodification of education and the over-elaborate monitoring which accompanies it. This is a personal and somewhat polemical view but, we believe, one that is also widely held in the sector. We suggest that a re-affirmation of experiential evidence is essential to counter the impact of an increasingly audit-driven approach to education which focuses on outcomes rather than process and on systems rather than individuals.