2014 - Volume 33: Number 3
Putting Disability Studies to Work in Art Education (pages 291–300)
Putting disability studies to work in art education suggests a form of action or industry, a creative opportunity for something to be done, recognising the relationship between theory and practice. Drawing on discourse analysis, this article offers an initial theoretical discussion of some of the ways in which disability is revealed and created through discourses about art education in articles published over the past 30 years in iJADE. This article proposes that the lens of critical social pedagogies applied to work relating to gender, race and class should be extended to disability in order to promote critical engagement through art education rather than critical avoidance. Drawing on Elliot Eisner's six lessons in what can be learnt from the arts, the article concludes by recognising the importance of art education as a means of epistemic validation, where different ways of being in the world are valued. Art education and arts practice offer a means of valuing and expressing the ‘dynamic difference of what it means to be human’. The article argues that the combination of disability studies and art education can, therefore, be a force to be reckoned with.
Off Limits: Cultural Participation and Art Education (pages 301–312)
Written from the direct experience of a practitioner, this is an autobiographic paper by a contemporary artist that recounts and explores creative and political activism through contemporary art. This article examines the tensions around status: the status of objects, materials and production methods, and the status of people and their drive to self-definition. The text addresses how a hierarchy of values can struggle to catch up with creative practice in education.
Doubting Learning Outcomes in Higher Education Contexts: from Performativity towards Emergence and Negotiation (pages 313–325)
Learning Outcomes models, particularly constructive alignment, are the default ‘theoretical’ tool underpinning HE curriculum design in the UK despite continuing doubts as to their efficacy. With reference to the literature, this article summarises the history of the Learning Outcomes movement and charts the perceived benefits and deficits of Learning Outcomes/Assessment as it pertains to art and design. It proceeds with an examination of the theoretical assumptions that underpin its principles specifically in relation to inclusivity and creative practice. Drawing on cultural historical activity theory, a case is made for a less prescriptive model, one that recognises socially constructed, situated meaning-making, and the impossibility of second-guessing the affect-laden motivations that generate specific learning needs.
Aesthetics, Authenticity and the Spectacle of the Real: How Do We Educate the Visual World We Live in Today? (pages 326–334)
In his analysis of the twentieth century, the philosopher Alain Badiou defined a ‘passion for the real’ in terms of spectacle, in its extreme violence, disseminated through art or cultural media, that would shake us out of a complacency we might call reality. But how do we teach Badiou's ‘real’ in the technological world we live in today? We now have continual access to the ‘spectacle’ of the real uploaded within moments of it happening. Photography, video and consumer journalism become a dominating force in our visual experience of the world. In the face of this, how might we consider our relationship with the image, its aesthetic and authenticity? What role does art education play in promoting a critical dialogue with representations of today's real?
Art, Pedagogy and Dyslexia (pages 335–344)
HICKMAN, RICHARD and BRENS, MADELEINE
This paper is based on research examining strategies that some art teachers with dyslexia employ in the classroom. The research assumes that teachers with dyslexia must have devised personal ways to navigate through the educational system to achieve qualified teacher status. The question that this assumption generates is therefore: ‘what learning strategies, used by art teachers with dyslexia, can be used as pedagogical tools?’ To help answer this question, a group of art teachers with ‘severe’ dyslexia were purposefully chosen to participate in the research through interviews, observation and by providing autobiographical details. Through focused reflection on their teaching and learning, they were able to identify particular approaches that they had used in their own learning to inform their teaching. Some positive attributes associated with dyslexia, such as visual spatial awareness, were found to have helped them in their professional lives, in addition to a predictable empathy with struggling students.
Theory and (in) Practice: The Problem of Integration in Art and Design Education(pages 345–354)
This paper examines the relationship between art ‘theory’ and art ‘practice’ in British art education at post-compulsory level, with a focus on the ways in which theory is framed and delivered and what this means for its integration. Drawing upon constructions of knowledge and approaches to integration as a technique and integration as a philosophy, suggestions are made on ways of organising theory in relation to studio practice. Theory is discussed here in terms of its common label in British Further and Higher Education: Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS), and particular reference is made to data drawn from research into practices of CCS on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design in 2008–10. Through the data, three dominant models of CCS are proposed and examined in order to identify the problem of integration and to make suggestions on what it means to integrate CCS in an art and design course.
‘Equality of Intelligences’: Exploring the Barriers to Engagement in Modern and Contemporary Art through a Peer-to-Peer Workshop at Tate Modern (pages 355–364)
The data presented in this article explores the effect on pedagogy when inclusion initiatives are bound up with learning objectives. It explores the generation of critical thinking skills in learning programmes at Tate Modern. Effective art education empowers young people to take a critical stance and in gallery education a decision has to be made: are programmes for young people about encouraging them to think about art or inviting them to think? I explore the position and status given to artworks and to young people's interpretations of those works through data gathered during a peer-led workshop. I illustrate the ways in which new critical voices are able to emerge and contrast them with potential pedagogic pitfalls in which such approaches become exclusive and ultimately work against their emancipatory aims. People who work in galleries and museums are ‘cultivated individuals’. They can easily take for granted their judgements about art and consider them to be ‘natural’. Because of this a disconnection can occur between people who are not acculturated and those who are. The purpose of this study is to shed light on cultural exclusion by exploring dialogue about art produced during a peer-led workshop.
Artist Teachers Exchange: Reflections on a Collaborative Sketchbook Project for Secondary School Art Teachers (pages 365–374)
BRASS, ELINOR and COLES, SUSAN M
This article is an account of a national project established to support secondary school art teachers to re-engage with their own artistic practice. It draws extensively upon the experiences of the participants and examines the value of teachers making time for their own practical work, both personally and professionally. Beginning in January 2013, 29 teachers participated in a year-long project as an offshoot of the NSEAD's TEA (Thinking Expression Action) drawing programme. In this project the sketchbook was the vehicle for exchange, with each participant working in two collaborative partnerships. Each month work was posted to a partner and in turn work was made in response and sent back in a creative dialogue. This way of working was established to promote time for creativity and significantly to create a group of artist teachers who could support and challenge each other through their monthly exchanges and by sharing their experiences on an on-line platform. This article will highlight the impact of these creative collaborations on participants' classroom teaching and considers the benefits of these artist teachers being in the role of a learner, sharing insights and possibilities with their students. It will consider the impact on the learning that occurs in the classroom and argue for the value of prioritising time for making, thinking and sharing.