Cultural Value Project

Cultural Value Project
The Cultural Value project, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, looked into the question of why the arts and culture matter, and how we capture the effects that they have.

The Project had two main objectives. The first was to identify the various components that make up cultural value. And the second was to consider and develop the methodologies and the evidence that might be used to evaluate these components of cultural value.

The report can be found here.

http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/research/fundedthemesandprogrammes/culturalvalueproject/

 

NSEAD Research Report 2015-2016

The National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) has recently published the latest (2015-2016) research report into the impact of government policies on our subject over the last five years. This is an important report and should be read by everyone interested in art and design education. Below is a copy of the introduction to the report by Ged Gast, President of NSEAD and a member of the ESAG for Art and Design.

click here for a copy of the report

President’s foreword

Many parents believe that the curriculum is an entitlement and that their children should have a choice to study subjects to examination level where they show exceptional abilities and commitment. Until recently such an entitlement has meant that children and young people could pursue their interests in education, leading to careers in the creative, media and design industries.

These same industries are the envy of the world and continue to be one of the most successful sectors in the UK, outperforming most others. This is why this survey report comes at such a crucial time for art, craft and design education. It is a health check for our subject, with findings that indicate a context of increasing misunderstanding and less regard for art, craft and design education, the arts and technology. Without this survey, there would be little evidence of the impact of government policy and the restructured curriculum, which seeks to address the very real problem of standards in English and mathematics and the qualification profile at 16 plus. However important it is to address such problems, it is never appropriate to do so by limiting curriculum breadth or subjects which contribute towards the personal growth and aspirations of children and young people, as well as their future career choices.

This survey provides evidence of the growing impact of these changes, foisted on schools through a culture of subject devaluation by policies which imply that even successful study and high standards of achievement in the arts will limit career and university choices. For those who would benefit from the transferable skills accessed through the arts, or for those who aspire to a successful, rewarding and world-class career in one of our creative and media industries, this report identifies how policy decisions are beginning to disadvantage some children and young people.

Furthermore, the impact of policies on the dedicated teachers who deliver our subject is also carefully evidenced in this report. In the wake of the Department for Education’s Government Response to the Workload Challenge, 2015, the NSEAD’s key survey findings show that the wellbeing and workload of art and design teachers should be urgently considered and addressed.

There are important messages here for parents and carers, teachers, senior leaders and school governors, as well as Ofsted inspectors, politicians and leaders of industry. I urge you to read this survey and recognise the descriptions of circumstances and damage that has already been done within our schools, and to the aspirations of children and young people who want to develop their creative skills to enrich our culture, contributing to future prosperity and industry.

Ged Gast

President NSEAD

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.

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

Warwick report indicates the challenges for the arts

This week the Warwick Commission launched its report, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth. The report is the result of a one-year investigation undertaken by a diverse group of cultural leaders, supported by academics from the University of Warwick.

Click here for the full report.

The Warwick website says ‘The report argues that the Cultural and Creative Industries are one entity, an ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly important to British life, the British economy, and Britain’s place in the world. It calls for joined-up policy making and a national plan for the sector that maximises cultural, economic and social return. The Commission’s analysis throws down a sharp challenge to all those who value how culture enriches people’s lives and makes a range of recommendations as to how we can ensure everyone has access to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life.’

Advocates and advocacy

The recent NSEAD research report based upon a survey of art,craft and design teachers showed a significant decline in the take up of art and design subjects in KS4 and KS5. There is a consequent reduction in teachers and resources for art, craft and design.This is seen as a result of the introduction of the eBac and the relentless emphasis on ‘academic’ subjects. It is an example of how performance measures do significantly change what is being measured. The mistaken attempt to reinterpret the role of art, craft and design education as art appreciation and a worthy leisure pursuit is doing harm not just to students but to the country.

Art teachers will wish to be passionate advocates for the value of their subject to their childrens lives. They will do well to look at this report by Alan Freeman and Peter Higgs published by NESTA which is the first systematic analysis of the employment trends in our creative and high-tec industries. The creative economy is growing three times faster than the workforce. This is not the time to downgrade creativity in our schools, nor to encourage talented students to drop a subject they love. Art craft and design education is not about providing a hobby for life but a career for life. It doesn’t have to be like this – after all there is an election soon.

Dan China

Art, Craft and Design Education-is important because

Firstly, art education in schools is not about training artists to draw and paint. It is important because it helps children to think and see, imagine and create. It enables them to enjoy and have confidence in their making. It supports them as they wrestle enthusiastically with materials and resources, acquiring and using skills as they do so. It helps them reflect on, understand and enjoy what others have imagined. Above all it gives them permission to experiment and play.

Dan China