Art Spark

Ideas for professional sharing and professional development.

The presentation below was developed by Eileen Adams and Dan China to explore the use of Adobe Spark Pages as a vehicle for professional sharing.

This idea came from discussions at an ESAG meeting about the need for new ways for communities of teachers to meet and share practice. The old ways of face to face twilight meetings between teachers from different schools is no longer possible for many teachers, although NSEAD network meetings in some areas are well supported. Recent, research by NSEAD confirms that most teachers of art and design have no access to subject based support and networking.

The question was whether there could be new ways for digitally experienced teachers to engage in professional sharing. Facebook forums are sometimes helpful but by their nature tend to be superficial, eclectic, populist and lack any quality control. It was felt that Adobe Spark might provide teachers with opportunities to create and share practice and ideas which were easy to create and yet fully professional.

ART SPARK 1

Click here for Art Spark 2. This is a second demonstration Spark that was made while experimenting. Click here for some notes that we made about the use of this software.

We hope colleagues will find this interesting and that it will encourage further reflection on professional sharing in a digital,age.

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’.

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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)

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

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

Art, Craft & Design ESAG

Aside

The purpose of the Expert Advisory Group for Art and Design is to consider and offer advice about art, craft and design education to schools and providers of ITT. We will do this by: publishing, and pointing to, a range of advice and guidance, collaborating with other educational groups to co-author and quality assure advice, working to offer non-biased advice to publishers and other educational stakeholders, advising the strategic group about subject specific issues in art, craft and design education relating to policy.

Next Gen Skills

If we thought that the new subject of ‘computing’ is nothing to do with us we would be wrong. Next Gen Skills is a campaign supported by UKIE which seeks to promote an educational alliance of arts and science subjects to feed the growing and significant sector of hi-tech industries.

Here is what the campaign stands for:

‘Next Gen Skills is campaigning for:

  • The introduction of an industry relevant Computer Science course within the framework of the National Curriculum
  • A review of ICT in its current form and to embed essential ICT skills across the wider curriculum
  • The promotion of the vital role that teaching maths, physics, art and computer science will play in ensuring the growth of UK’s digital, creative and hi-tech industries

UKIE

The Next Gen Skills campaign is backed by the Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE – a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry
UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
Next Gen Skills is also working with partners to make these changes a reality on the ground by supporting schools across the country to make ‘digital making’ and creative programming truly mainstream and, most importantly, fun!
The campaign believes that for Computing and Computer Science subjects to be taught creatively, i.e. with reference to Art, Design and the humanities – they need to be based on ‘STEAM’ not just ‘STEM’ – endorsing the approach suggested by NESTA in its Manifesto for the Creative Economy.’

Click here for the link to Ian Livingstone’s TED talk about the power of play.

Dan China