International Journal of Art & Design Education

2008 - Volume 27; Number 3

Pedagogy Against the State


Volume 27.3

The text of this article was originally presented in a public lecture in February 2008. It presents a description of earlier research on children's drawing practices which considers the ingenuity of learning and meaning-making through drawing. Then the focus moves to the language of assessment to consider how, art practices, such as drawing, as well as learner and teacher identities, are constructed and regulated within such linguistic practices (discourses). Bearing in mind the regulatory effect of such practices (and that all discourses are in some way regulatory) the final section introduces the idea of pedagogy against the state in order to think again an ethics of pedagogy concerned with becoming; an ethical imperative for pedagogy concerned with expanding our grasp of what learning is.

The Praxis of Art's Deschooled Practice


Volume 27.3

Art's relationship with education is often characterised by paradox. Yet art is often reified within an education system that refuses to see the pedagogical strengths of paradox. This article approaches art education from three positions. The first is that art is a construct that is neither natural nor necessary. The second is that there are no aesthetic or pedagogical imperatives, but that art education is the recognition of groundlessness where paradox facilitates learning. The third approach is to reposition art with regards to its relationship with learning, education and schooling. Here it is argued that art's only choice is to deschool learning. The latter is moved by an underlying dilemma as to whether art, considered as an autonomous human act, could ever engage with systems of learning without being turned into a tool or a thing. Unless art education is deschooled, the teaching and learning of art remains trapped between the assumptions of process and product. So the idea of art and education as shared practices within schooling remains somewhat dubious unless art's practices are recognised in parts perceived as wholes and where conclusions are marked by open-endedness. No possibilities for art or learning could ever emerge unless a radically different set of conditions give way to a state of affairs where knowledge is a matter to be discovered but never determined, and where a fixed ground is transformed into a wide horizon.

Taking a Long Look at Art: Reflections on the Production and Consumption of Art in Art Therapy and Allied Organisational Settings


Volume 27.3

This article draws on experiences of looking at art to consider the influence of social context on the production and consumption of art. I draw on art historical discourses and relate these to looking at art in art therapy and related organisational settings. I suggest that professional socialisation profoundly influences how practitioners look and think about what they see. I propose that attention to tacit knowledge about art, extending practices of looking to include contemporary discourse about audiencing, curating and display, and taking time for a long look at art and at the art made in art therapy and allied settings, can enliven and sustain practitioners' 'ways of seeing'.

Carnival in the Curriculum


Volume 27.3

This article focuses on a carnival in the curriculum project designed to revitalise the arts in the experience of students in Higher Education preparing to become primary school teachers. It argues the relevance of a combined arts or trans-disciplinary artform in the remit of a visual arts education journal and explores carnival as a complex, inclusive, multifaceted and multidimensional cultural practice with deep historical and social roots. It locates carnival within theory and the debate about the arts in schools in the UK from the early 1980s. Drawing on the analysis of interviews with students and teachers in carnival project schools, issues and themes such as student involvement, creativity, artists in schools, and cross-curricular learning are explored, concluding that carnival in the curriculum provides an opportunity for agency within the regulated official curriculum.

Problems of Interdisciplinarity: Evidence-Based and/or Artist-Led Research?


Volume 27.3

Art education as a distinct academic discipline is relatively recent and closely related to the growth of specialist teacher qualification programmes in university education departments. Opportunities for art teachers to engage in research were first provided in advanced diploma courses and specialist masters programmes set up in university education departments. Later these were followed by specialist doctoral degrees. Since the majority of such programmes are located in education departments, research training has tended to be social science based. Recently there has been a flurry of publications by art and art education specialists devoted to explaining and extolling the idea of art practice as an alternative paradigm. This article analyses and discusses this development and the status of research in the specialist field, drawing on the author's recent experience of carrying out two systematic reviews of studies in art education. It examines strengths and weaknesses in the two research paradigms and suggests ways forward for improving training in art education research.

More than a Body's Work: Widening Cultural Participation through an International Exploration of Young People's Construction of Visual Image and Identity


Volume 27.3

The article presents the rationale, methodology, and selected outcomes from More than a body's work, a collaborative, international, arts educational interactive research project. The project, taking place in both New York and England, explored the ways in which young people construct and 'perform' identity through the construction of their body and its appearance. The project's central intention was both to investigate diversity in young people's personal and cultural experience, and demonstrate their potential for creative engagement in mediating and expressing identity through a visual form. With its inclusive ethos, More than a body's work facilitated opportunities for young people who may not ordinarily have access to the arts to be partners in collaborative arts production, generating models of wider participation through innovative participatory approaches to visual art and interdisciplinary practice.

The ongoing project is developmental, continuing to involve young people as participants, responding to the synthesis of local, national and international influences creatively deployed within youth culture. In considering More than a body's work's significance as a model for inclusive practice within art education, the article will discuss its strategies and its potential impact in relation to current initiatives and policies within the arts, culture and education.

Visual Arts Declarative Knowledge: Tensions in Theory, Resolutions in Practice


Volume 27.3

This article focuses on the contribution literacy, linguistic, curriculum and pedagogic theories make to realising declarative knowledge outcomes for middle years visual arts students in one multi-age Australian classroom. Understandings of literacy as visual arts content and process, as articulated in the Queensland School Curriculum Council Years 1 to 10 Syllabus, are analysed in terms of the above-mentioned theories. This analysis reveals four significant tensions: an absence of linguistic knowledge for the construction of declarative knowledge written texts; the assumption that the subject English provides the skills base for the production of visual arts declarative knowledge written texts; slippage between the proposed curriculum orientation and teaching position for achieving high quality declarative knowledge outcomes; and a lack of specificity for the form of metaphor to be used in visual arts education. The article presents classroom data from one middle year’s teacher who takes up multiple curriculum orientations and teaching positions to facilitate high quality declarative knowledge outcomes. He commences the lesson by drawing on the students' life worlds, and then moves into the role of expert so as to provide arts-specific content and linguistic instruction before the students complete their written descriptions. The findings contribute to the worldwide debates surrounding teaching and learning practices for developing visual arts declarative knowledge outcomes by reissuing the call for syllabus planners to make the links between a content area and its literacy demands explicit and for teachers to reclaim spaces for subject-specific literacy instruction.

The Relevance of Art Education and the Education of the Nigerian Child: Implications for the Universal Basic Education Policy


Volume 27.3

This article examines relevant government policy documents on education and culture and discovers that Nigerian education authorities do not 'discriminate' against art and culture in its articulation of educational policies per se, but lack of administrative machinery or political will has resulted in the deprivation of the Nigerian child in the process of creative activity in early childhood development. The article argues that lack of creative ability in our educational products is perhaps a major setback in the nation's quest for industrial and technological development. In this article a new art curriculum for elementary schools is advocated as a means of engaging the young child in order to attain functional educational skills necessary in the world of work.

Aesthetic Modernism in the Post-Colony: The Making of a National College of Art in Pakistan (1950–1960s)


Volume 27.3

With the formation of Pakistan as a modern Islamic republic in 1947, the institutions of art and design education were transformed under the sway of modernization theories of development. A conceptual and physical infrastructure was put in place to modify existing institutions and to create new ones for encouraging modern art and artists in the country. The 1950s saw major developments taking place in the former Mayo School of Art which was upgraded to the National College of Arts to train designers, artists and architects to meet the requirements of a new nation. The distinction between arts and crafts formed the discourse through which the changes in art education were articulated. The process of change unleashed in art education is emblematic of the changes taking place in the other sectors of economy and culture. The Bauhaus influence which formed the initial impulse to bring artists and craftsmen in the service of national industry gave way to the competing fine art movements in painting resulting in abandoning the synthesis of arts and crafts envisaged in the earlier approaches to art education.