International Journal of Art & Design Education

Artist Teachers Exchange: Reflections on a Collaborative Sketchbook Project for Secondary School Art Teachers (pages 365–374)

Volume 33.3   2014



This article is an account of a national project established to support secondary school art teachers to re-engage with their own artistic practice. It draws extensively upon the experiences of the participants and examines the value of teachers making time for their own practical work, both personally and professionally. Beginning in January 2013, 29 teachers participated in a year-long project as an offshoot of the NSEAD's TEA (Thinking Expression Action) drawing programme. In this project the sketchbook was the vehicle for exchange, with each participant working in two collaborative partnerships. Each month work was posted to a partner and in turn work was made in response and sent back in a creative dialogue. This way of working was established to promote time for creativity and significantly to create a group of artist teachers who could support and challenge each other through their monthly exchanges and by sharing their experiences on an on-line platform. This article will highlight the impact of these creative collaborations on participants' classroom teaching and considers the benefits of these artist teachers being in the role of a learner, sharing insights and possibilities with their students. It will consider the impact on the learning that occurs in the classroom and argue for the value of prioritising time for making, thinking and sharing.