Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

Teaching Now with the Living: A Dialogue with Teachers Investigating Contemporary Art Practices

Volume 25.2   2006

PAGE, TARA; HERNE, STEVE; DASH, PAUL; CHARMAN, HELEN; ATKINSON, DENNIS & ADAMS, JEFF

 

With: BENJAMINS, REBECCA; DICKENS, CAROLE; GIGG, CAROL; HUTCHINS, HANNAH; LAW, ANDY; MORRIS, JULIET; OVINGTON, MARY JO; SANDERS, PETER; THOMPSON, ELAINE; WARD, HENRY & WHELAN, LESLEY

The Education Departments of Tate Modern and Goldsmiths College collaborated with a group of teachers to find out what they understood by the term contemporary art and to discover the conditions that enable contemporary art practices in the classroom. We explored questions with eleven teachers, from both primary and secondary schools, during the Autumn of 2004. Although the cultural/ethnic context of the schools the teachers worked within was diverse, they shared a commitment to working with contemporary art in the classroom and exploring new pedagogies in this field. Their engagement with contemporary art and their revealing and compelling experiences are documented, contextualised, and summarised. Samples of the discussions form the substance of this article. This is preceded by an analysis of the success of socially-orientated contemporary art in the wider global context and its contrast with the omission of these practices in many schools. Conclusions have been tentatively drawn about how the curriculum may be better served by the use of contemporary art, as well as the means by which new learning methods might be facilitated.