International Journal of Art & Design Education

2012 - Volume 31 Number 1

Contemporary Art and Art in Education: The New, Emancipation and Truth

Volume 31.1 2012


This article assembles some ideas on equality and learning in relation to the notions of truth and emancipation. It considers learning as a political act, as defined by Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou, rather than, for example, an incremental process of psychological or sociological development. Practical exemplifications will be taken from contexts of art practices and art in education, but the general argument is directed at learning and equality across all human endeavours. The article discusses the idea of the truth of learning as something which ruptures existing frameworks of practice and knowledge and ponders the kind of pedagogies we require to inform effective pedagogic action. To this end it proposes what might be termed pedagogies against the state, or pedagogies of the event, in order to respond to acts of learning that involve leaps of becoming into a new or reconfigured world.

Generative Processes: Thick Drawing

Volume 31.1 2012


This article presents techniques and theories of generative drawing as a means for developing complex content in architecture design studios. Appending the word ‘generative’ to drawing adds specificity to the most common representation tool and clarifies that such drawings are not singularly about communication or documentation but are also productive instruments for architectural inquiry. A particular aspect of generative drawings is their potential to directly activate conceptualisation processes. Such advancement is demonstrated through evidence of continued design thinking development rather than isolation of schemes at a particular point in a process. Generative drawings offer the means of advancing multiple paths of inquiry rather than singular research channels typified in introductory pedagogies. The relevance of drawings as polemical instruments or tools of critique and history is well established, but the intellectual and physical techniques of generative drawing that advance multiple modes of architectural research are less explicit. The use of drawings as discursive instruments is a critical step towards the alignment of authorship as but one category of priority alongside the rich and complex field of forces beyond individual intuition. The recognition of design research as a category of inquiry commensurate with scientific or historical disciplines requires that our instruments have explicitly defined purpose. By discussing specific techniques and the reasons for communicating such intuitive or inexplicit architectural conditions, this article seeks to disperse the mysterious haze that obscures the legibility of architectural drawing from the uninitiated.

How Drawing is Taught in Chinese Infant Schools

Volume 31.1 2012


The benefits of drawing for children are wide-ranging but are likely to be mediated by the art curriculum and other governmental guidance to teachers relevant to drawing/art. Furthermore, such statutory regulations vary between cultures, and therefore curricula represent an important influence on the cultural differences found in children's drawings. Previous articles on the teaching of drawing in Chinese schools have commented upon the emphasis placed on children copying from adult drawing models. However, a new art curriculum was implemented in Chinese infant schools (3–6-year-olds) in 2002, still in operation today, which instead places an emphasis on the children's enjoyment of drawing through making creative and expressive pictures from their imagination. This article describes the key objectives stated in the Chinese art curricula for infant schools. We also present an interview with a Chinese infant school teacher in which she provided in detail how the curriculum is typically applied to the teaching of drawing. The interview also provided some background context to why the curriculum was changed and to its delivery. The article comments on the pedagogical practices adopted, and comparisons are made with Western art education and, in particular, to the teaching of drawing/art in England for the same age group. Finally, we consider what implications the Chinese approach has for the ‘non-interventionist’ approach to young children's drawing/art that is frequently found in Western art education.

Art and Design Blogs: a Socially-Wise Approach to Creativity

Volume 31.1 2012


Many images of the ‘artist’ or ‘designer’ pervade the media and popular consciousness. Contemporary images of the artist and creativity that focus solely on the individual offer a very narrow depiction of the varying ways creativity occurs for artists and designers. These images do not capture the variety of creative processes and myriad ways artists and designers work. Young creatives in particular are choosing to work with a social approach to creativity. An example of this approach is the world of blogging, a form of social media where young creatives have a very active voice. This article explores how creative bloggers, that is, artists, designers and makers who blog about their practice, use a social approach to foster creativity with a sense of community, environmental and ethical awareness, a value framework that is in opposition to the market-driven notion of liberal individualism. Is there a way to include participation in the broader art and design blogging world as part of art and design education? What can we learn from such a social approach to learning in higher education art and design programmes? This article explores these questions and shares findings of an ethnographic approach to an analysis of art and design blogs. In doing so it argues for a socially-wise approach to creativity in art and design education as a means of promoting values other than those usually connected to the market

Creativity in Artistic Education: Introducing Artists into Primary Schools

Volume 31.1 2012


Despite a more prominent role of arts education in the school curriculum, artistic creativity does not occur to a great extent in primary school practice. More opportunities for teachers to strengthen their know-how in the field of artistic creativity can therefore be considered important. Arts education projects focus on pupils' development of creativity by means of introducing artists with their divergent working methods into primary schools. Beside fostering pupils' creative openness and skills, arts education organisations aim to transfer artistic enthusiasm to teachers in each project. Collaboration with artists can encourage teachers' artistic creative work. New working methods, techniques or ways of experimenting are more likely to be adopted in daily teaching practice when the project duration consists of several years. However, most projects are short-lived and the means for a long-term project policy are limited. Consequently, results in the area of sustainable outcomes concerning artistic creative work with teachers are limited. To create a long-term view, the availability of financial resources is an important condition in order to realise a mentality change towards artistic creativity in education. Finally, continuing debate with several participants about making artistic creative work sustainable remains necessary.

International Journal of Art & Design Education

A Shared Place of Discovery and Creativity: Practices of Contemporary Art and Design Pedagogy

Volume 31.1 2012


This article is based on a project that explored the practices of art and design beginning teachers (BTs) working with learners in a post-age-16 context. The aim of the project was to: explore contemporary art and design practices; explore the concept of artist teacher learner researcher; enable beginning teachers to collaborate with post-age-16 pupils and develop new approaches and strategies to art and design pedagogy. Through practices that blurred learner-teacher identities a dialectical pedagogy emerged and a collaborative community of practice developed, all enabled through a renegotiation and reconceptualising of places of learning. The beginning teachers also started to construct their artist teacher identities, understand what it means to practise as an artist teacher in the classroom, understand the impact of these practices on teaching and learning and develop new learning and teaching methods. This project demonstrates the possibilities of these practices for contemporary art and design pedagogy and also how these practices can endure and be sustainable for this community of beginning teachers in the current cultural, social and political contexts of education.

How Can Visual Arts Help Doctors Develop Medical Insight?

Volume 31.1 2012


This research project examines how using the visual arts can develop medical insight, as part of a pilot programme for two groups of medical students. It was a UK study; a collaboration between Liverpool and Glyndwr University's and Tate Liverpool's learning team. Tate Liverpool is the home of the National Collection of Modern Arts in the North of England and one of the largest galleries of modern and contemporary art outside London. The project adapted Tate Liverpool's Opening Doors course in devising and piloting a single day programme that engaged students in exploring perception, communication, emotion and narrative. Opening Doors introduces participants to modern and contemporary art and empowers them to work in new ways with groups and individuals.

The exercises used as part of the programme allowed us to observe what connections and interpretations were made, and to discuss with the participants what influenced student choice and decision making in relation to specific works of art.

This article will focus on the use of gallery education to highlight examples of contemporary culture to develop links between art and medicine, alongside the development of transferable skills. The study is of professional interest because it is using a cross-disciplinary approach, broadening the disciplines involved in teaching medical skills; and could form a model for further cross-curricular and cross-discipline work.

Non-Career Teachers in the Design Studio: Economics, Pedagogy and Teacher Development

Volume 31.1 2012


As the economic pressure to teach more students with fewer (and less costly) instructors has increased in higher education, the utilisation of non-career teachers has become more prevalent. Design education has not escaped this phenomenon; non-career teachers, such as graduate and undergraduate students or design practitioners, have become commonplace in design education, including the design studio. The studio, however, is a unique teaching and learning environment in higher education. It poses distinct socio-academic challenges for both students and teachers. The utilisation of non-career teachers in studios raises a number of ethical and pedagogical questions. Teacher development is one serious concern. Here, the authors articulate the major challenges confronted by non-career studio teachers, especially student teaching assistants, and strategies for their development.