Ged Gast and Professor Andy Ash, chairs of the Better Practice special interest group, explain why we need a 21st-century, learner-centred and community-focused curriculum
The educational context continues to evolve and has been transformed within our lifetime by social, political, technological and financial circumstances across the UK. The purposes of national curricula in defining subject content are open to question when we consider the status of much existing guidance. At the same time, societies’ perceptions of the relevance and usefulness of art and design as a curriculum subject are changing. Despite the continuing expansion of opportunities in the creative, media and design industries, with growth and performance exceeding most other industry sectors, some policies in education challenge the notion that the arts offer a viable future career. Consequently, teachers of art and design may question why their subject faces prejudice and may be held in low regard by some senior leaders and parts of society, even though standards remain high. Is this just misunderstanding, or a recalibration of curriculum values? Does this cause us to question how society defines expectations for our subject?