International Journal of Art & Design Education

2015 - Volume 34 Number 2

The Challenge of Beginning (pages 159–168)


VOL 34.2 DOI:

This article presents a way of approaching introductory design education that expands student creativity through building on research related to the impact of cognitive development and metacognitive thinking. The strategy presented emphasises the importance of encouraging divergent thinking and understanding how students perceive knowledge. The goal is to create a learning environment that acknowledges where students are in their thinking and provides a structure that promotes both cognitive and creative growth.


Art Conquers All? Herbert Read's Education through Art (pages 169–179)


VOL 34.2

Herbert Read's Education through Art (henceforth ETA) is a pioneering attempt to provide empirical evidence for the need for art in the public school system. Rooting for art education, Read applies the conclusions of the newly evolving psychological research to his thesis on education, which he holds to be a contemporary revival of Plato's educational theory. Psychological research proves, Read believes, that art is required for the healthy cognitive and emotional development of the child, thereby creating a stable and productive society. ‘Education through art’ nurtures each individual's potential, so that every professional direction one would later take would be ‘art'. Since its publication in 1943, art-education enthusiasts seem to hold that Read was on the right track, but that ETA suffers from a lack of evidence – a mere technicality that can be amended when research advances. Contrariwise, I argue that Read's thesis is inherently problematic, rather than empirically inaccurate. Psychological research may never suffice for the justification of art education, if ‘art education’ is both substituted for ‘creativity’ and expected to produce testable – immediate and quantifiable – results. My interest is not only in Read's theory per se, but in this form of justification. To wit, the discussion examines ETA as a case study in the empirical justification of art education.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12031

Malleable Thought: The Role of Craft Thinking in Practice-Led Graphic Design(pages 180–191)


VOL 34.2

This article considers the potential of craft processes as creative engagements in graphic design research. It initially discusses the uneasy history of craft within the discipline, then draws upon case studies undertaken by three established designers who, in their postgraduate theses, engaged with craft as a process of thinking. In doing so, the article discusses craft in relation to embodied creative experience, the culture of learning communities and disobedient thought.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12013

Understanding Art: Preparing Generalist School Teachers to Teach Art with Artworks (pages 192–205)


VOL 34.2

This article focuses on ways of building preservice primary teachers' confidence in teaching art with artworks and, in particular, on how to develop their pedagogical content knowing. It is suggested that through opportunities offered for engaging in observational and reflective practices with artworks an initial groundwork is set that can challenge pre-service teachers' preconceptions about art and promote an aesthetic form of inquiry. A qualitative approach was followed which included in-depth interviews with twenty pre-service teachers regarding their attitudes and knowledge towards artworks. The findings indicate that enhancing teachers' abilities to practice factual inquiries and then move on to interpretive inquiries of artworks can help them learn how to learn about artworks and how to organise meaningful art viewing activities with children. Issues relating to the participants' level of aesthetic understanding are also discussed as participants were asked to engage with artworks and their aesthetic encounters were documented.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12020

From a Disciplinary to an Interdisciplinary Design Research: Developing an Integrative Approach for Design (pages 206–223)


VOL 34.2

As the new generation of designers face more complex design issues, the forms of design research start to shift towards a user-centred approach to problem-solving. The cooperation and communication among various fields and specialisations are becoming more complex; in many practical design cases, in particular, technology developers face challenges in deciphering the creative ideas of designers and the needs and restraints of users, society, law and science. The emergence of integrative design based on a wide range of disciplines has prompted discussion and exploration among various participants. The direction of contemporary design research has already transformed from one based on production of artefact to one focused on the integration of varied knowledge and fields at different stages. We examine such design research based on a problem-driven approach in two case studies characterised by interdisciplinary collaboration for solving complex problems. We focus on the transformation and implementation of integrative design research methods and suggest a ‘reflection-in-action’ problem-solving process for strengthening the capabilities of multidisciplinary design research.

ArchiBabel: Tracing the Writing Architecture Project in Architectural Education(pages 224–236)


VOL 34.2

Though much recent scholarship has investigated the potential of writing in creative practice (including visual arts, drama, even choreography), there are few models in the literature which discuss writing in the context of architectural education. This article aims to address this dearth of pedagogical research, analysing the cross-disciplinary Writing Architecture Project based in the undergraduate course of Queens University Belfast's School of Architecture. Over the course of four years, teaching staff, in partnership with the university's Learning Development Service, technicians and specialist librarians, have addressed an unfortunately persistent struggle for both architecture students and professionals alike to research and construct argument in written form. The article examines the current problem as identified in the literature before analysing the efficacy of the variety of teaching methods used in the Writing Architecture Project, with conclusions about the project's success and continuing challenges.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12004

Academic Social Climate – A Key Aspect in Architectural Studies (pages 237–248)


VOL 34.2

The present research investigates academic social climate in architectural studies as perceived by students. It studies the importance that the various measures of academic social climate have in the studio and in architectural classes. It also investigates the relation between the personal background of students and their sense of academic social climate. Academic social climate is evaluated with regard to the eight factors proposed by Moos (1979) dealing with: orientation to study material, innovation, academic social connections, teachers’ support, competitiveness, academic-social involvement, order and organisation, teachers’ control and an index for general academic social climate by means of a survey. Findings show that academic social climate was higher in the studio than in the regular classes in social connections, students’ involvement, teacher support, and order and organisation; while academic social climate measures were higher in the regular classes in teacher control and in the orientation of learning material. The highest academic social climate measures in both studio and classes were students’ involvement and competence, and the lowest measures were teacher support, and order and organisation. Some items of students’ personal and educational background were found to affect their sense of academic social climate. The implications of these findings for architectural design education are presented.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12009

Arts Practice and Research: Locating Alterity and Expertise (pages 249–259)


VOL 34.2

There is still no agreed pedagogic definition of practice-based research. However, there is not a dearth of definitions, but rather a wide variety, predicated upon the developing programmes of individual places of study. This article will examine these definitions in terms of underlying concepts of intentionality and alterity and the ways in which instrumental use of them affects study. The article will discuss a number of existing models for the theorising and adjudication of practice as research, and the questions that underpin their development. First, are non-text outputs, and the methods of their production, able to communicate knowledge rather than simply constituting knowledge? Second, by what criteria can this knowledge be adjudicated within an academic environment? Third, what is the status of these outputs and methods relative to the production of text? It will propose that interrogation of these models will advance little in discussions that focus on media. Text or nottext is beside the point. Rather, the relationship between research and practice can be explored as a relationship between intentionality and alterity, based in an essentially social conception of communities of expertise, including academic communities of expertise. Finally, the article will describe an attempt by the author to undertake a drawing activity in response to a research question, in order to assess the possibilities of articulating practice specifically in order to demonstrate expert knowledge of the field in which a research question occurs.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.1776

Adapted Verbal Feedback, Instructor Interaction and Student Emotions in the Landscape Architecture Studio (pages 260–278)


VOL 34.2


In light of concerns with architectural students’ emotional jeopardy during traditional desk and final-jury critiques, the authors pursue alternative approaches intended to provide more supportive and mentoring verbal assessment in landscape architecture studios. In addition to traditional studio-based critiques throughout a semester, we provide privately held, one-on- one feedback at the semester's close that follows a mentor–trainee model of purposeful interface and a vision of where the student is going. This article reports 82 landscape architecture students’ experience of this adapted verbal feedback. The findings suggest an overwhelming positive student experience, and we conclude that these sessions help balance the emotional challenge of architectural study with nurturing support. Furthermore, the students’ positivity was not influenced by their experiences in the previous class. We therefore conclude that the adapted feedback sessions provide appropriate closure, even when (perhaps particularly when) a student has had a negative emotional experience during the class.

DOI: 10.1111/jade.12006


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