International Journal of Art & Design Education

2012 - Volume 31 Number 2

Fostering Creativity: A Multiple Intelligences Approach to Designing Learning in Undergraduate Fine Art

Volume 31.2 2012


Curriculum and pedagogy in undergraduate fine art can promote an approach to learning creativity that is more about being an artist than knowing about art. Lecturers can provide a road map for developing particular dispositions, in relation to student ideas and perceptions, to foster personalised creativity. This requires that lecturers have an ability to harness the range of learning approaches and interests that students bring to their studio learning environments. One way of doing this is to construct learning activities in ways that engage students' multiple intelligences so they may acquire deeper understandings of their own creative processes. Fostering this kind of creative think tank is artistry of an educational kind. In this article we explore such a creative think tank by examining a particular lecturer's pedagogical approach. We discuss how and why this lecturer designs activities in a way that draws on multiple intelligences to stimulate learning and foster creativity. Using narratives, we analyse this particular curriculum through the lens of multiple intelligence theory and explore how the pedagogical approach develops the whole person. We found that by attending to relationships and focusing on a plurality of intellect this particular curriculum and pedagogy promotes transformative learning in students studying fine art

Self-Reflexivity and the Creative Voice: Issues of Transgression Identified with Participant Ethnographic Research in Art and Design Education

Volume 31.2 2012


This article shares my experience as a doctoral student researching within the domain of art and design education. This is a professional doctorate bringing together my experience as an educator and that of researcher where boundaries between education and social science research disciplines cross. My research paradigm is situated within critical theory. It is an interpretive hermeneutic study where I am cast as a participant ethnographer. At the time of writing I wanted to make known the issues and tensions that I encountered with research protocols, such as permissions mechanisms and ethical gatekeepers. These tensions I still perceive as confining, but more significantly, I realise that knowing and understanding research methodology is key to achieving creative and unpredictable research practice. This article is, therefore, focused on my journey to discover a research methodology that enables me to use a creative voice. By this I mean a method by which I can develop a writing style that articulates my practice that enables me in the construction and reporting of my research analysis to fully capitalise on my reflexive self. I have referenced papers produced by others at the time of writing their doctoral thesis and have found this enlightening. This is my contribution.

Liberating Foundations of Art and Design

Volume 31.2 2012


Research concerning the basic course known as Foundations of Art and Design strengthens the pedagogical approach for K-16 art and design education. The version of Foundations introduced to America by Josef Albers, although hardly changed, is shown to have continued, timeless relevance. Next, a sequential, implicit logic is revealed in linking the literature of the originators’ old intentions for the course, reflections by their students, and directions taken by later colleagues (particularly design scientists and the theorists addressing the current paradigm combining aspects of art, design, mathematics and science education), revealing some limitless, possible new dimensions.

The first focus of this article points to the foundations course as a common denominator for the assimilation of complex new material through aesthetic play, paving the way for new cultural forms. A second theme begins to intertwine literature from many interdisciplinary fields, revealing a profound and deeply rooted pedagogical underpinning, accessible to art and design researchers and educators to aid with their move toward future transformation.

De-Schooling Art and Design: Illich Redux

Volume 31.2 2012


Using Ivan Illich's seminal works, Deschooling Society and Tools for Conviviality as touchstones, this paper returns to further pursue the thrust of my article in iJADE 25.3 (2006), ‘Domain poisoning: the redundancy of current models of assessment through art’, and might be considered as a more radical addendum. The central strand of Illich's work on ‘deschooling’ is an indictment of the trend to dehumanisation and the counterproductivity which results from institutionalisation. This paper argues that it is time to revisit Illich's call for deschooling with particular reference to the teaching of art and design, and, in turn, to look at the construct of the art teacher for the twenty-first century as connoisseur/critic/animateur, aloof from the world of domain-based assessment. As has been suggested many times before within these pages and beyond, accountability makes teachers risk averse. In short, this article suggests that it is time that we took a structural risk and removed this glass ceiling to aspiration while calling for complete deregulation of art and design education and the reinstatement of the art teacher as an autonomous ‘agent of change’.

Aesthetic Learning About, In, With and Through the Arts: A Curriculum Study

Volume 31.2 2012


Aesthetic learning is a major issue in arts education. The ‘method of art’ is often expected to facilitate in-depth learning not only in the arts but across the curriculum. This article defines aesthetic learning in terms of a conceptual framework based on two dimensions, one representing the goal and the other the means of aesthetic learning. The goal is described as convergent or divergent. Convergent learning is goal-directed, focused and rational, while divergent learning is explorative, open-ended and intuitive. The means are described as medium-specific or medium-neutral. Medium-specific learning emphasises the forms of representation, for example words, pictures, algebra, dance. Medium-neutral learning emphasises instrumental aspects of learning, such as academic achievement or personal development. Combining these dimensions two-by-two, the author arrives at a suggested definition of what is meant by learning about, learning in, learning with and learning through the arts. The rest of the article investigates the potential utility of this framework in various contexts and for different purposes. First, the author presents two temporary ‘Culture-in-School’ projects. Secondly, the framework is used to study aesthetic learning processes in sloyd (art & craft), based on student teachers’ portfolios in metalwork. Thirdly, the four modes of learning are compared to equivalent modes of teaching: the instructor, the facilitator, the advisor and the educator. Fourthly, there is a discussion on the role of aesthetics in a ‘balanced’ curriculum. Finally, there is an argument on the need for a variety of assessment tools based on the four modes of learning and teaching, such as copying, portfolios, projects and the repertory grid technique.

Duodji: A New Step for Art Education

Volume 31.2 2012


In this article, I intend briefly to present some views of how cultural expressions can be used as a basis of artistic education of an indigenous people in a particular area. In the past 30 years, indigenous peoples have demanded that their cultural expressions (and knowledge) be included in higher education; to achieve this, they have applied diverse strategies. This integration is, however, a complex process, as universities or institutions of higher education often have to follow national programmes and regulations concerning higher education. Nevertheless, many indigenous peoples have attempted, in their regions, to create art programmes for higher education, often as part of another art programme, or as an independent programme.

The case that I use in the presentation is based on my work at Sámi allaskuvla/the Sámi University College in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino) in the Sámi area of Norway. The main question here is: How and under what conditions is it possible to launch higher art education that has duodji as its foundation? A key question is what the significance of the overall discourse and praxis that has emerged and developed in indigenous societies is when it is transferred to higher education.

Why Throw the Negs Out with the Bathwater? A Study of Students' Attitudes to Digital and Film Photographic Media

Volume 31.2 2012


As today's digital applications hold our gaze and become increasingly ubiquitous, it is easy to dismiss the previous technologies and processes that provided yesterday's creative opportunities. Photography has been revolutionised by digital capture and transmission in the past decade. It could be argued that there is a digital orthodoxy in education, which has democratized and engaged increasing numbers of students, and has had a particular influence in A Level Photography. Over the past decade many traditional darkrooms have been replaced by computer suites. My concern is that if secondary schools and colleges with the facilities to teach film are forced to convert to a singular digital mode, we may be throwing the negs out with the bathwater.

This study uses qualitative and quantitative research that I have undertaken at a Further Education college in England. It explores students' attitudes to learning Photography with an artistic curiosity, which includes experiential learners, and those that eschew the digital age who are content with the organic variety of analogue learning that film offers. They make their own case for maintaining the opportunity to learn through hybrid activity that embraces both media, for a multiplicity of learning opportunities and media that are not limited by any orthodoxy, digital or otherwise.