Many teachers are involved in action research and curriculum innovation. This requires them to engage in developing a fuller understanding of their work through systematic enquiry, careful evaluation and testing out of possibilities as a basis for improving learning and teaching. This section shares the experience of teachers, other educators and organisations that have attempted to extend and improve the art, craft and design curriculum.
- Sketchbooks: Loughborough University 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