International Journal of Art & Design Education

2006 - Volume 25; Number 3

GCSE Art and Design: An Arena for Orthodoxy or Creative Endeavour?


Volume 25.3

This paper explores the potential correlation between key aspects of the creative process and the requirements of GCSE Art and Design Specifications as determined and defined by stated assessment objectives. It considers approaches that might be employed to more effectively establish a link between pupils’ creative endeavours and their necessary evidencing of attainment in respect of these objectives. In order to illustrate and amplify this enquiry reference is made to specific examples of candidates’ work that was selected by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) to exemplify and disseminate GCSE Art and Design standards for teachers in 2006. It concludes with a set of implications for consideration.

A Review of Children’s, Teachers’ and Parents’ Influences on Children’s Drawing Experience


Volume 25.3

In this paper we argue that research into children’s drawings should consider the context in which drawing occurs and that it is crucial to investigate the attitudes and practices of teachers, parents, and children themselves that shape children’s drawing experience and the drawings which they produce. We review the findings of seven empirical studies reporting data collected through direct observations, interviews and questionnaires from the three main players (teachers, parents and children) on the attitudes and practices shaping children’s drawing. Issues covered include teachers’ perceptions of the purposes and importance of drawing, support offered by teachers, parents and children for children’s drawing endeavours, and possible factors that may lead to an age related decline in the amount of drawing children choose to do.

We end the review by reporting some preliminary findings from our own large scale interview and survey study of 270 children aged five to fourteen years, their parents and teachers, that provides a comprehensive assessment of attitudes and practices influencing children’s drawing experience at home and at school. The findings provide further insight into the aforementioned issues, particularly children’s, teachers’ and parent’s explanations of why children’s drawing behaviour might decline with age. It is hoped that by reporting these preliminary findings some additional understanding of the context in which children produce their drawings can be gained and new areas for debate opened up.

Art Education and the Visual Arts in Botswana


Volume 25.3

The history of art and design education in Botswana has evolved in a unique way and reflects its British colonial history and post independence development. It has involved constant exchange and dialogue with other countries through the employment of teachers, teacher trainers and University lecturers from a variety of European, Asian and other African countries. This dialogue has continued as locally trained art teachers pursue their degrees overseas and return with new ideas and influences. At the same time, the development of local crafts for a global market and the inter-cultural exchange in the visual arts outside the formal education system, are thriving with the help of various organisations and the museum and gallery sector.

This article will look more closely at the country context, the history and development of art education and the inter-relationships that have evolved over the last two decades. It will show how students engage with the challenge of integrating their African heritage and changing traditions with their development as teachers and artists. It will also consider how closer links between the formal and informal art sectors might be mutually beneficial and demonstrate the potential for art and design to play a role in the social, economic and cultural development of the country.

Domain Poisoning: the redundancy of current models of assessment


Volume 25.3

With the National Foundation for Educational Research concluding that schools which include Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) in their curriculum add significant value to their students’ art experience, and at a time when much of the discussion around contemporary art questions the value of the art object itself, this paper addresses the question: how are we to engage students with the contemporary and, at the same time, make value judgments of their own work?

And, while the professional fine art world subscribes increasingly to the ‘rhizomatic’ template of art processes, how do we square this with current assessment criteria which require that students produce work where the preparation and finished product occupy separate domains and rely on 'procedures and practices that reach back to the nineteenth century'? By way of a postscript to the inconclusive findings of the EPPI-centre art and design review group, this paper will also address what we have lost in the drive for domain based assessment and how to regain some of the ground lost since the introduction of Curriculum 2000.

Heritage, Identity and Belonging: African Caribbean Students and Art Education


Volume 25.3

This paper addresses the issue of Caribbean cultural under-representation in school art departments. It argues that diasporic subjects are not seen and their cultures not recognised precisely because their contributions to the way we live are indivisible from the mainstream. This in contradistinction to some groups whose cultures and heritages are relatively distinct and separate from Western mores. Our ways of understanding culture do not take this into account. Yet diasporic contributions to the way we live have buttressed Western lifestyles since the beginning of the slave trade. The paper argues that this relationship, characterised by multiple entanglements, must be recognised if Caribbean cultural identities are to be seen and valued. In doing so it challenges the way we construct notions of cultural heritage and belonging, and promotes the adoption of more risk-taking pedagogies possibly based on contemporary practices.

Power, Freedom and Resistance – Excavating the Design Jury


Volume 25.3

There can be little argument that the design jury features as a key symbolic event in the education of the architect. However, whilst the centrality of the design jury as a site for learning disciplinary skills, beliefs and values is now widely acknowledged, there continues to be considerable disagreement about what is learnt and how. While critical pedagogues argue that the design jury is a critic-centred event that coerces students into conforming to hegemonic notions of habitus [1], those who promote reflective practice see it as a student-centred event in which a critical dialogue with experts supports students’ construction and re-construction of their own habitus. This paper, inspired by Michel Foucault’s writings on the analytics of power, reports on the findings of a year-long ethnographic study carried out in one British school of architecture that sought to excavate ‘what was really goes on’ in the design jury.

Interior Design Supports Art Education: A Case Study


Volume 25.3

Interior design, as a field of study, is a rapidly growing area of interest – particularly for teenagers in the United States. Part of this interest stems from the proliferation of design-related reality shows available through television media. Some art educators and curriculum specialists in the nation perceive the study of interior spaces as a “practical application” of the arts.

This paper discusses an experiential design problem, originally used in higher education interior design studio courses that was modified and shared with students in third grade to address national academic standards. Later, this same project was modified for use with high school students in the educator’s community and with international design students in South Korea. Lastly, the project was presented in a workshop to art education students at a higher education institution. The project was modified to address 1) the age group level and 2) a topic relevant to the audience. Goals of the design project were: 1) to explore creative problem solving, 2) to explore the application of design elements and principles, and 3) increase student understanding of spatial relationships within an interior environment. Findings indicate that the project supported several visual art standards, including perception and community. This project may be of interest to current and future art educators and others interested in the potential of interior design content supporting art education.

Raising Pupils’ Self Esteem Through Leadership Activities in Art


Volume 25.3

This paper is about the ways in which young people who have disengaged from learning in school can find a way back through leadership activities in art. It is based on a project which was funded by a small grant from the Wallenberg Foundation. The project explored the potential of an approach to developing positive leadership qualities in pupils who were not consistently committed to the school’s learning purposes. This account describes and comments upon two pupils' guided attempts at peer teaching in art and its subsequent effect upon their self-esteem and attitude towards school. It was found that pupils who taught art to other pupils had an increased sense of self-worth and were more positively affected towards learning. However, broader issues, such as the negative nature of some school systems and their role in de-motivating pupils were highlighted.

Coming in From the Cold: Imperialist Legacies and Tactical Criticalities


Volume 25.3

There is a perception in British universities and art colleges that art students are not very good at writ¬ing, that they don't want to write, and furthermore, that writing gets in the way of the real business of making art. These perceptions are reinforced in much of the literature that has been produced about, and in support of, undergraduate art educa¬tion in the last few decades.

This paper will examine the tensions, both historical and contemporary, between academic practices (such as the academic essay, the disser¬tation) and fine art studio practices. This translative gap both produces, and perpetuates, a set of bina¬ries: visual/textual, art/literature, words/images, Studio/Art History, making/writing. The net result of which is a resistance to writing from many Art students in Higher Education.

I will outline subject specific multidisciplinary strategies used with undergraduate and post¬graduate students to harness, and develop, this resistance as both transformational and inventive.