International Journal of Art & Design Education

Theory and (in) Practice: The Problem of Integration in Art and Design Education(pages 345–354)

Volume 33.3   2014



This paper examines the relationship between art ‘theory’ and art ‘practice’ in British art education at post-compulsory level, with a focus on the ways in which theory is framed and delivered and what this means for its integration. Drawing upon constructions of knowledge and approaches to integration as a technique and integration as a philosophy, suggestions are made on ways of organising theory in relation to studio practice. Theory is discussed here in terms of its common label in British Further and Higher Education: Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS), and particular reference is made to data drawn from research into practices of CCS on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design in 2008–10. Through the data, three dominant models of CCS are proposed and examined in order to identify the problem of integration and to make suggestions on what it means to integrate CCS in an art and design course.