International Journal of Art & Design Education

2014 - Volume 33 Number 1

Reforming the School Curriculum and Assessment in England to Match the Best in the World – A Cautionary Tale


Vol 33.1

This article traces the development of a new National Curriculum in England following the general election of 2010. The prevailing political ideology of an approach based on securing ‘core knowledge’ in a limited range of preferred ‘academic’ subjects and its deleterious impact on the arts in schools is described. The vigorous debate accompanying these ‘reforms’ is summarised.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12038.x

Hunting for Monsters: Visual Arts Curriculum as Agonistic Inquiry (pages 19–31)


Vol 33.1

This article explores the possibilities of placing curriculum design in close proximity with participatory contemporary art projects that potentially activate our capacities and willingness to re-vision the future of art education. In this curricular questing we have been drawn toward art that encompasses participatory forms – chiefly relational art and relational antagonism in art – en route to modes of lived-curriculum as agonistic inquiry. We start with an account of the historical present as engulfed in past curricular tensions with curriculum design experiencing an arrested development in its reliance on outdated, causal models of learning in order to assume greater certainty over learning. This produces an illusion of efficiency and comes with particular costs. The interaction between the distinct perspectives of curriculum-as-plan and curriculum-as-lived offers a number of theoretical opportunities for art educators to re-engage with curricula. Next, we explore the notion of an uncertain curriculum, drawing upon relational aesthetics and bricolage to highlight curriculum as a negotiated space, while offering a student art project example that illustrates a non-deterministic and participatory form. The authors suggest that while relational aesthetics and bricolage are helpful in the space between curriculum-as-plan and curriculum-as-lived, these are also limited. Further, we share examples and possibilities for reconsidering curriculum as inquiry, inspired by relational antagonism in contemporary art. Finally, we end with a plea for the necessity of monstrous curricular excesses and conflicts in perforating both our students' and our own current and historical borders of a field yet to come.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.01774.x

The answer is brought about from within you’: A Student-Centred Perspective on Pedagogy in Art and Design (pages 32–45)


Vol 33.1

This article reports on the ways that a group of third-year undergraduate art and design students conceptualise the pedagogy they experience on their course. This study is part of broader research funded by the Group for Learning in Art and Design (GLAD) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) that employs qualitative interviewing approaches to explore the ways that a small sample of art and design students studying in two English post-1992 universities interpret and understand the questions in the National Student Survey (this is a questionnaire that UK students complete during the final year of their undergraduate studies). The analysis suggests that the students' conceptions of art and design pedagogy might be best understood as a form of ‘reverse transmission’ that places the students as active co-producers of their learning.

The study reflects on the centrality of project centred learning in art and design and explores the challenges concerning the nature and scope of the art and design lecturers' role, particularly in the context of the UK's increased student fee regime.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12008.x

Creatives Teaching Creativity (pages 46–54)


Vol 33.1

Creativity is very much in the forefront of current international economic news. As developing countries successfully vie with established economies for manufacturing and less-skilled jobs, the pressure is on the developed world to move on to the next economic break-through. Innovation and the creativity that drive it are seen as crucial to this process. Ultimately, education is viewed as the place to inculcate creativity in upcoming generations, to prepare them for the challenges (economic and otherwise) nations will face in coming years. The current global interest in the development of creative thinking for all areas of education requires teachers at all levels to construct learning experiences that generate not only creative products but also creative processes. These processes could ideally be applied across various disciplines requiring complex problem solving, engendering creative outcomes in multiple domains. While the authors assumed that teachers in the creative disciplines of art and design should take a leading role in this development of creative processes, it is not clear that this is happening. This article examines the background of the current calls for creativity, and reviews challenges to the leadership of creative teachers in teaching in non-creative disciplines.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.01778.x

Research into Teachers' Receptivity for Arts Infused Curricula in Taiwan (pages 55–74)


Vol 33.1

The main purpose of this study was to understand the common attitudes and behaviours of teachers in Taiwan with regard to the implementation of arts infused curricula, as well as the individual problems these teachers encounter. From these results, we extracted reference data for the benefit of schools and policymakers in promoting arts infused curricula. The model of receptivity theory and the interrelated factors of influence shown therein were particularly useful in interpreting the attitudes and behaviours of teachers with regard to arts infused education. Teacher receptivity theory is usually applied to measure the relationships between the implementation of a new curriculum and the attitudes/viewpoints of teachers with regard to the new curriculum. With the aid of teacher receptivity theory, this study explored the difficulties and obstacles faced by teachers when implementing arts infused curricula, as well as the attitudes, behavioural intentions and considerations of these teachers. The methodology of this study included both a review of the literature and in-depth interviews. Using the interview data, this research compiled 16 key factors of consideration for teachers with regard to arts infused curricula. These factors influence the attitudes and behaviour of teachers in relation to these curricula.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12035.x

An Enquiry into Primary Student Teachers' Confidence, Feelings and Attitudes towards Teaching Arts and Crafts in Finland and Malta during Initial Teacher Training (pages 75–87)


Vol 33.1

Arts and crafts are connected with a variety of emotions, and the prospect of teaching these subjects could be a source of other emotions, not necessarily positive. This study explores the feelings and attitudes of student teachers towards arts and crafts prior to any training within their degree course and examines any changes that occur following the courses. Theories of emotion and confidence are used to outline the approach of the study. This article describes the results of a survey performed in two countries, Malta and Finland, and highlights how student teachers feel degree courses in arts in Malta and in textile crafts in Finland, designed to include a strong experiential element, affect their perceptions of their own competence and confidence to teach the subjects. The method of content analysis was used to identify categories related to emotions and confidence. Altogether 53 student teachers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Malta participated in the survey in academic year 2010–11. Our findings support previous research showing positive effects on attitudes and confidence when training provides authentic artistic processes and experiences even though learners bring with them diverse experiences, and consequently experience diverse emotions, attitudes and perceptions towards arts and crafts as well as diverse levels of confidence to teach the subjects.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12002.x

Education through Art after the Second World War: A Critical Review of Art Education in South Korea (pages 88–102)


Vol 33.1

This article examines how progressive education was introduced to South Korea after the Second World War and takes a closer look at critical studies of this history. It argues that the America-led progressive education policies, which focused on art education, were an uncritical adaptation of the superpower's educational ideology and did not contribute to the advancement of education in Korea. In order to clear the vestiges of Japanese colonial rule, many progressive reform projects, including the reformation of the curriculum, were set into motion. However, these initiatives did not address South Korea's social and economic issues but helped to maintain traces of colonial rule. They influenced the Korean people to develop a negative view of their own roots, culture and traditions. It encouraged people to consider themselves as the subjects of Westernisation and was a strategy implemented by America to have influence on South Korea.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12011.x

Concepts as Context: Thematic Museum Education and its Influence on Meaning Making (pages 103–115)


Vol 33.1

Thematic art museum education programmes – programmes where visitors make meaning of various artworks in relation to a specific preselected theme – are conspicuous within interactive museum education on both sides of the Atlantic. How do thematic programmes influence visitors' experiences with art? In this article, I explore this question based on data collected in a museum education class at a graduate school of education. The findings emphasise how the selection of a particular theme inevitably shapes the way viewers read an artwork. Viewers who are compelled by aspects of an artwork that do not ‘fit’ within the assigned theme feel frustrated in thematic programmes. These viewers contend that the thematic approach flattens the rich, multidimensional – and multi-thematic – experiences that artworks invite. By the same token, the data suggest that the limits that themes set can promote in-depth exploration of certain interpretive avenues in the work and yield feasible, insightful interpretations that might otherwise remain obscure. Ultimately, this article is a reminder that the themes museum educators select – or their absence – inevitably shape the way individual artworks come to life as viewers interact with them.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12001.x

Critical Citizenship Education and Community Interaction: A Reflection on Practice(pages 116–129)


Vol 33.1

The social transformation required in a democratic South Africa can only be achieved through the transformation of perceptions and attitudes. This article argues that community interaction can play an important role not only in raising the level of societal awareness of students, but also in the development of a symbiotic relationship between an academic institution and its surrounding society. Although this process has become a common feature in many universities, evidence suggests that engagement which leads to true social transformation, including a change in deep-seated attitudes, is rare. Consequently, community engagement risks remaining unprogressive, and has the potential to reinforce the very discriminatory attitudes and practices which it aims to overcome, while serving as a superficial response to institutional social responsibility imperatives. Through an analysis of a case study from the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University, the article engages with the problems that emerge as barriers to social transformation in the relationship between the academic institution and the community, and argues that, in order that its emancipatory potential be realised, the politics surrounding community engagement, particularly its relation to social transformation, need to be identified and challenged.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.01773.x

Implementing Change in Architectural Design in Elementary School Art Education in Slovenia (pages 130–140)


Vol 33.1

This article reports on a study of the effects of an action research project that aimed to improve the practice of teaching art in elementary schools in Slovenia. The specific focus was on the planning and execution of art tasks relating to architectural design. The planned improvements were based on the process of architectural design from recognising a real problem to finding solutions to art problems. The subjects of the research were 80 10-year-old fifth graders and their art and classroom teachers from two elementary schools in Maribor, Slovenia. We evaluated the effects of the implemented changes on pupils' artistic creativity by testing the pupils before and after the action research by using an artistic creativity test with which we were able to monitor the level of pupils' creative development. Test drawings made by pupils before and after the action research were evaluated by monitoring six factors of artistic creativity: sensitivity to problems, elaboration, flexibility, fluency, originality and redefinition. By using a dependent t-test for paired samples, we examined whether there were any statistically significant differences between the initial and the final tests for each factor separately. We found that the effects of all the implemented changes were positive, with pupils scoring higher in the final tests for each of the six factors of creativity. Findings from the action research suggest that changes to the architectural design classes yielded the best results in the last action step which enabled pupils to get a sense of space during an educational walk.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.01741.x

The Integrated Design Process from the Facilitator's Perspective (pages 141–156)


Vol 33.1

The focus of this study was to clarify the integrated design process from an educational standpoint, and identify its influencing factors and the role of facilitator. Through a literature review, the integrated design process and the role of facilitator were framed, and through the case study, the whole process of integrated design and the facilitator's role were analysed from the preparation phase to the assessment phase. The integrated design studio was conducted for 16 weeks with third-year undergraduate students who had various academic backgrounds. The integrated design studio was composed of three integration elements: integration of knowledge, integration of research and development methods and systematic integration of process. Each phase of the integrated design process and the facilitating role of the instructors were empirically analysed. After the integrated design studio, the students' perspective on its effectiveness and the difficulties encountered were analysed quantitatively. The results showed that the effective integration in design education should place a high importance on integration of knowledge and R&D phases, and the facilitator's role should be focused to maximise the multidisciplinary collaboration effect.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-8070.2014.12000.x