Fundamental British Values in art and design education

The NSEAD has produced a paper to define the fundamental British values that are supported by art and design education. Click here for a copy.

Equality and respect for all others, not only those who have different faiths or beliefs, should be at the heart of every school, clearly reflected in day-to-day interactions and in pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.  The Equality Act 2010 provides an excellent framework for this, structured around 9 “protected characteristics” (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership; pregnancy & maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation) and placing on all public bodies, including schools, the public sector equality duty.  The general duty requires schools to: eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity; and foster good relations between those who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Why the EBacc Lacks Substance

‘‘The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a school performance measure. It allows people to see how many pupils get a grade C or above in the core academic subjects* at key stage 4 in any government-funded school.’’ (DfE, 2016)

* English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences, a language

There have been some very loud voices criticising this narrow measure and its exclusion of any arts subjects, not least the National Society for Education in Art and Design [NSEAD] – for example, see: http://www.nsead.org/downloads/Baccalaureate.pdf.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Baccalaureate as: ‘‘an examination intended to qualify successful candidates for higher education.’’  On this basis, the EBacc is inappropriately named – as well as conceived.  GCSEs alone do not facilitate university entry, as they are a stepping stone to further study (post-16), not higher study (post-18).

The highly respected International Baccalaureate [IB] Diploma is a post-16 qualification, aimed at developing ‘‘students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.’’ The arts have a dedicated place in the six subject groups which make up the IB Diploma curriculum.

Here is a simple ‘doughnut’ analogy to illustrate the difference between the IB Diploma and the EBacc…

The IB Diploma is like a plate of juicy, jam filled doughnuts with shiny icing and multicoloured sprinkles. There is colour, flavour and crucially choice.

stock-photo-fresh-donuts-stand-235612729

 

In stark contrast the EBACC is like a partially eaten, ‘bog standard’ doughnut: bland incomplete and unsatisfying. The only choice is ‘Hobsons’.

images

Our education system should excite young people about learning and allow them to pursue their interests. With an increasing focus on ‘pupil voice’ in many schools, in line with the aims of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it seems very wrong that choices are being taken away from our young people.  Worryingly, the EBacc undermines the study of art for both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, as by its current definition, it excludes art and thus implies that art is neither a core subject nor an academic one.   This is certainly not the view of the ESAG for Art, Craft and Design.

Dr Emese Hall (University of Exeter)

Researching Art, Craft and Design

There are various sources of guidance and inspiration for those looking to investigate learning and teaching in art, craft and design education.  Many of these approaches use creative and artistic methods.  Here are some suggestions to get you started…

a/r/tography Website
‘‘To be engaged in the practice of a/r/tography means to inquire in the world through an ongoing process of art making in any artform and writing not separate or illustrative of each other but interconnected and woven through each other to create additional and/or enhanced meanings…’’

Arts Based Educational Research [ABER] Bibliography
This is a very useful list of books, chapters, articles and links to conference papers about ABER on the a/r/tography website. 

British Educational Research Association ABER Special Interest Group [SIG]
Arts Based Education Research aims to understand education through arts-based concepts, techniques and practice. Practitioners use a variety of arts-based methodologies to undertake their research and / or to communicate their understanding through such diverse genres as autobiography, narrative, poetry, visual arts, drama, dance, music and performance…’’

ABER SIG of the American Educational Research Association [AERA] – Resources Page
Providing a community for those who view education through artistic lenses, who use a variety of arts-based methodologies, and who communicate understandings through diverse genres.’’

National (US) Art Education Association [NAEA] Research Portal
‘‘What does current research say about the value of learning in the visual arts? What topics are emerging in the arts research world? How does research inform teaching practices and how can what happens in your classroom inform research?’’

NAEA Research Agenda
‘‘The NAEA Research Agenda is designed to encourage and disseminate research communicating the value of visual arts education and its collective impact on students, schools, communities, and society.’’

International Society of Education through Art [InSEA] Research Blog
Look here for links to recent international PhD theses, art/s conferences, news etc.

Dr Emese Hall (University of Exeter)

Creative Journeys

This is an excellent resource for teachers and students considering art as a subject and a career. It provides information and examples of outstanding people who made this journey. This is really worth clicking.

Creative Journeys website

#CreativeJourneys is a Sorrell Foundation project supported by HEAD Trust (the Higher Education in Art and Design Foundation) and Arts Council England.

NSEAD 2015 Survey – art and design in schools

The NSEAD (National Society for Education on Art and Design – the subject association for art http://www.nsead.com) does an annual survey to investigate trends in art and design in schools. Last year the survey documented the emerging (negative) impact of eBac on art uptake and provision. You will understand, even better than me, how the continuing programme being pursued by the government is likely to have an increasing impact on our subject. There is no one else collecting subject specific data. HMI no longer undertakes subject reviews. NSEAD is probably the only national voice for art and design education in schools and it does have access to the national debate. It is really important that their research and data is seen as robust and therefore, their sample size needs to be as large as we can make it.

Here is the link to the 2014 survey results. This has informed the work of the ESAG and debate in parliament and elsewhere http://www.nsead.org/Downloads/NSEAD_ART_CRAFT_AND_DESIGN_EDUCATOR_SURVEY_REPORT_2014.pdf

The 2015 survey can be accessed at the URL below. It is important to encourage as many art teachers as possible to complete the survey and provide an accurate picture of our subject.

https://plymouthbusiness.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bOzRlQyTHXRGipv&Q_JFE=0

We hope you will be able to complete the survey and share this with many of your colleagues.

Good practice in art, craft and design

In January OFSTED published a set of papers sharing examples of good practice in art teaching. There are 12 case studies in all and they include building professional practice into GCE ‘A’ level courses, developing drawing, inspiring creativity and developing a whole school approach to art, craft and design. The case studies are  from both primary and secondary schools. Click here for the link.

Generation ART: Childrens Art Exhibition

Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour is an exhibition of children and young people’s artwork with associated learning programmes, supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic touring programme. Run by engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, the exhibition will open at Turner Contemporary, Margate in June, and tour to New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts in Leicester, and Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight in 2015-16.

Goals of Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour
The aim of Generation ART is for children and young people to be involved in a high quality exhibition at every stage, as curators, artists, audiences and champions. By profiling high quality artwork by children and young people, Generation ART strives to raise the aspirations of schools, teachers and of children and young people, and inspire them to create excellent artwork. click here to go to the website

Sketchbooks

Sketchbooks: Loughborough University has published research into the use of individual and exploratory sketchbooks. The art foundation diploma at Loughborough University develops students’ approach to creating highly individual and exploratory sketchbooks, with a focus on first-hand drawing and visual notation, and exploration of new ideas, materials and techniques. The course tutors present an interesting critique of ‘A’ level sketchbooks developed as evidence for examinations.
‘… Many students come to us with sketchbooks which are more like “presentation books” rather than a real record of their exploration, or a source of personal visual reference. The emphasis on good presentation means that students often have to un-learn habits they have developed before coming to university, such as decorating pages, making elaborate backgrounds and titles, rather than focusing on first-hand visual research, developing and working up their ideas, which is what is required on a foundation course. The sketchbooks which we see at interview are often superficially attractive and colourful, but this can be at the expense of real content and substance. The expectations of annotation at A level often lead to students writing at length in these books, but the writing is often too descriptive, rather than analytical or evaluative. To download the report click here