International Journal of Art & Design Education

Carnival in the Curriculum

Volume 27.3   2008



This article focuses on a carnival in the curriculum project designed to revitalise the arts in the experience of students in Higher Education preparing to become primary school teachers. It argues the relevance of a combined arts or trans-disciplinary artform in the remit of a visual arts education journal and explores carnival as a complex, inclusive, multifaceted and multidimensional cultural practice with deep historical and social roots. It locates carnival within theory and the debate about the arts in schools in the UK from the early 1980s. Drawing on the analysis of interviews with students and teachers in carnival project schools, issues and themes such as student involvement, creativity, artists in schools, and cross-curricular learning are explored, concluding that carnival in the curriculum provides an opportunity for agency within the regulated official curriculum.