International Journal of Art & Design Education

2008 - Volume 27: Number 2

Autonomy of Artistic Expression for Adult Learners with Disabilities


Volume 27.2

When an art tutor adopts the role of assistant to a disabled artist it is difficult not to move from helping with the physical handling of materials on the one hand into the actual creative process on the other, thus influencing how the artwork looks. Ecas is an Edinburgh-based charity which promotes opportunities for the physically disabled people to be self-fulfilled and to participate in all aspects of society. They run, among other things, traditional art classes and computer classes. The use of computer technology (CT) in art seemed to offer the chance for self-fulfilment for disabled artists by increasing control over artistic choices and providing for self expression with only minimal assistance required from others. Ecas decided to fund a research project in the form of a ten-week pilot course and the data collected during the trial confirmed these possibilities and it was clear that adult learners with disabilities could benefit from CT in order to have greater autonomy in the creation of their art than before. In particular the program Corel Painter IX.5 and various graphics tablets proved to be powerful arsenal for self-expression without having to wait for a tutor to tape paper to a board, replenish paint, change brushes attached to a head pointer or any one of the many and varied problems disabled students had with traditional art materials.

Insights into the Integration of Traditional Filipino Arts in Art and Design Education: Voices from the Academe


Volume 27.2

The article presents the first segment of a qualitative study that explores the feasibility of integrating traditional arts in the Philippine art and design education. The views of educators on traditional arts were sought to provide am impetus for the study and a springboard for discussion regarding the relevance of traditional Filipino arts in a predominantly Westernised educational system. The educators’ views and opinions on the central question, ‘Why and how should the study of traditional Filipino arts be integrated in the art and design programme?’ will be used to guide a trial integration of the learning of traditional arts in tertiary art and design classes. They will form part of the multiple perspectives that will be gathered from various sectors throughout the course of research. This phenomenological study, on the whole, seeks to uncover the potentials of traditional arts as a rich resource for learning, particularly for students of art and design.

How can we Create the Conditions for Students’ Freedom of Speech within Studies in Art?


Volume 27.2

This study investigates how the dynamics of students’ voice can be productively brought into teaching situations. I have researched the conditions required for constructive freedom of speech, within art education. I explored the potential for vocal peer assessment and for students’ ownership of their educational experiences, for the Teacher-Artist Partnership Programme, 2006-7.

My methodology engages in a dialectical exchange between the philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Michael Foucault, specifically their ethics and interpretations of freedom. This theory was integrated via action research, with the creative learning situation; Sartre’s reflections on freewill, ‘free commitment’ and the ‘free project of a sentence’ are discussed. These ideas are related to Foucault’s stance on personal autonomy, and the individual’s interface with structures of power and knowledge. I have also charted research on student consultation by Sarah Bragg, examining parallels between contemporary perspectives and the views of pragmatist John Dewey.

The Contemporary Art of Collaboration


Volume 27.2

Predetermined assessment criteria and target levels threaten to constrain and limit teachers’ desire to provide a balanced and innovative curriculum for their pupils. Through the collaborative production of annual installations, the fine art department at Trinity Catholic School has attempted to confound the effects of a comprehensive school’s limitations. These installations allow hundreds of participants of all ages to collaborate in partnership ethos exploring contemporary issues and modes of practice and enable both pupils and teachers to engage with art as a creative process.

The installation is used as a gallery resource centre both in-house and by the local community. The recent installation entitled ‘Laboratories’, analysing links between art and science, becomes a case study to examine the avoidance of limitations imposed by exam-driven targets, instead an environment was fostered that actively promoted a ‘learning for all’ philosophy including teachers and mature students.

White Heat or Blue Screen? Digital Technology in Art & Design Education


Volume 27.2

The recent explosion in ICT means computers are marketed as an essential element of modern education. Governments have spent heavily on ICT but evidence of the effectiveness of this investment is contradictory; teacher attitude is cited as both a barrier to and a facilitator of its implementation. Initially used to simplify course administration, ICT now has the potential to fundamentally change practices; recognising the opportunities ICT offers as a bridge between classrooms and the relevant world beyond, teachers access online resourses such as museum collections and practitioners. No consensus exists within art and design educations as to the role of ICT or even its validity in the arts; using the computer as a tool for fine art may mean different teaching skills are required and different learning approaches are enabled. This article reviews international research on the adoption of ICT in schools and colleges, specifically looks at examples of good practice in art and design education and reviews trends in technology to determine the benefits and limitations for future practice.

The Act of Looking: Wofgang lser’s Literary Theory and Meaning Making in the Visual Arts


Volume 27.2

In his account about reading novels, Wolfgang Iser argued that the work of art is not the text itself but the experience that emerges as a reader interacts with the text. Yet, he clarified that the aesthetic object is not based only on subjective input of the reader but also determined by specific signs that a text presents. This article draws from Iser’s theories to examine the process through which five teenagers discover meaning in an abstract sculpture by artist Isamu Noguchi. The author shows how the young viewers arrived at a series of readings that were elicited by the qualities of the work and that built upon each other in a sort of snowballing process. The article also illustrates how the sort of meaning that an artwork can yield stretches throughout the whole experience and can therefore not be translated into a discursive statement.

Designing a Utopia: An Architectural Studio Experience on David Harvey’s Edilia


Volume 27.2

The design of a utopia was devised as a studio project in order to bring critical thinking into the design studio and to stimulate creativity. By suggesting a utopia, the pedagogical aim was to improve progressive thinking and critical thought in the design education of architectural students –and also future architects. From this perspective, the utopia called Edilia, from the book Spaces of Hope by the critical geographer David Harvey, was taken as a basis for the students to design a utopic environment. In addition to Harvey’s book, students were not only challenged by the idea of an alternative society but also by the idea of a different space. Utopia, as an inter-disiplinary subject, brought various issues and different perspectives into the design studio such as public and private realms, everyday life, work, leisure, nature, technology and sustainability. With the help of the concept of utopia, a theoretically-informed design studio enabled students to criticise the existing world, dream about an alternative one and make the design of their dreams in a creative way.

Art at the Mall: A look at the Aesthetics of Popular Mall Art Culture


Volume 27.2

Currently there is a scarcity of information in the art education literature about purchasing art. This article examines how art acquires economic and social value, as well as how consumers make decisions when purchasing a piece of art. Where does an art student or the general public learn about buying art? How much, if any of this process is happening in art class? There is an assumption art educators make, that raising some invisible standards of taste leads to greater awareness of art consumption. In this article, the author visits four mall stores to study the aesthetics of art purchase to discuss a number of implications for art teaching. Elitist views of the contemporary art world regarding popular culture and the purchase of art frame the debate. As art educators we ask art students to look at the world as critical consumers; this article then, offers practical approaches for classroom discussions surrounding the purchase of art.

The ‘Night Owl’ Learning Style of Art Students: Creativity and Daily Rhythm

Sy-Chyi Wang and Jin-Yuan Chern

Volume 27.2

This article explores the deep-rooted ‘night owl’ image of art practitioners and calls for attention on a consideration of the time for learning in art. It has been recognised that the human body has its own internal timings and knowing the ‘time’ pattern is important for better productivity in conducting creativity-related activities.

This study surveyed 230 art students and 251 management students in a university and examined if there existed any cross-disciplinary differences in terms of self-confidence of creative ability, preferences of a particular time for creativity tasks, and routine patterns for daily activities such as getting up, going to bed and working.

The results reveal that the art students have more confidence in their creative ability than the management students; about 58 per cent of the art students feel more creative after 10p.m., as opposed to 29.2 per cent of the management students; and there exist significant differences between the two groups in terms of what time they get up, go to sleep and prefer to work.