TEA: Thinking Expression Action

Thinking Expression Action was a professional development programme run for secondary teachers of art, craft and design in partnership with the Campaign for Drawing and the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies. The aim of TEA was to extend and develop drawing practice and provide a legacy of online resources and ideas.

As active participants teachers were asked to think and look beyond the limits of the curriculum and classroom in order to use drawing to enhance students learning in art, craft and design.

From gaining a better understanding of the purposes and uses of drawing teachers were better able to extend and share their own experiences and that of their students.

The programme offered participants a one-day workshop to actively explore a variety of drawing practices and the opportunity to extend dialogue and communication through social media.

Choosing their own focus, to include transition, under-achieving boys, teachers were tasked with creating two case studies, showcasing their current and extended practice.

TEA concluded with a one-day conference at the National Gallery where participants shared good practice and forged further collaborative links beyond the conclusion of the programme.

The case studies, alongside a variety of activities carried out through social media platforms, a sketchbook circle and a mail art project provide a unique resource to further inspire and inform anyone wishing to explore and extend the drawing practice of both themselves and their students.

A visual essay about how, where and why young people draw

Drawing to Learn, Learning to Draw
An illustrated paper discussing the use of drawing as a medium for learning, arguing that it is not only possible to learn to draw, you can draw to learn.

Written by Eileen Adams

Mail Art
A description of the collaborative projects carried out using the Royal Mail service to include the Envelope Project, the Russian Dolls, Lonely Hearts, the Tenement Building, the Mini Me Project, the TEA Bag Project and the Digital Circle.

Written by Susan Coles

Case studies authored by art, craft and design educators.

Presented by Eileen Adams

Road Trip
A collaborative project carried out using the Royal Mail service recording summer journeys.

Facilitated by Georgia Naish and Karen Wicks

Sketchbook Circle
A description of the development of collaborative work with shared sketchbooks.

Written by Susan Coles

Students Drawings
A visual essay presenting the work of the young people.

Written by Eileen Adams

TEA final report
A final summary of the TEA project.

Written by Eileen Adams

The Social Media Story
A PowerPoint presentation describing how collaboration through social media platforms supported the TEA programme.

Written by Susan Coles

TEA was supported by the Helen Rachael Mackaness Trust.