Teaching (in) the arts through
  partnerships and collaboration:
constructive tensions or impossible
          contradicti...
‘Creative partnership’,
              contradictory drivers
• ‘knowledge economy’ or            • Rhetoric of skills,
  ‘k...
• The ubiquity of
  creativity discourses…
Performativity and creativity
• Standards rhetoric           • Open-ended tasks
• Output measures              • Integrati...
Change is a multidimensional
           process…
 ‘Top -down’ drivers         ‘Bottom-up’ drivers
 • Standards rhetoric, b...
Creative partnerships as
       panacea?
            • ‘deficit models’ of
              student and teacher
             ...
It is about creative education, by which I
 mean helping teachers teach more creatively,
 using creative journeys as educa...
policy and practice: contexts

•   creativity as a rhetoric within
    the umbrella of policy…or a
    challenge?

•   par...
Policy and practice: conflicts




        Cultural policy, the creative economy and
      community identities

      • ...
different contexts…




different rhetorics…
Huge claims…and implementation is far from
      being systematic or system-wide…

• Rather, has the status of a
  set of ...
Arts education is caught up in these tensions…

• Arts education as a         •   Expressive aims alongside
  repository/r...
This work is fed by many different traditions
               and approaches…e.g:
• In the US ‘teaching artist’    • Artist...
Complex relationships between arts sector and
                  education…

• Many artists have supported/    • Many teach...
Arts education institutions gain huge value from
                 this blurriness
• It resources practice      • Organisat...
This mediation and negotiation is part of the
   condition of being in a pluralistic education
                    system…...
Creative partnerships imply…

              • New types of
                relationship between
                formal and...
Three stories about these issues….
1. The story of ‘Home’
           • Hybrid curricular/extra
             curricular project
           • In the context of...
2. A story from TAPP
(www.tapprogramme.org)
           • Artists and teachers
             in dialogue as part
           ...
“Difficulties in the theory: is it just me?

-         the constant call for collaboration in an area which is often about...
3. A story about
            ‘dissemination’
• Risk of adopting an
  uncritical approach
  to policy
• How to maintain an
...
Challenges…

• Articulating the theories
  that underpin the
  approaches to learning
  more clearly - building a
  case a...
It’s in the cracks and fissures of the systems
    and the rhetoric that creative solutions
                   emerge…

  ...
Context and community…not just
          standards and structures

• New hybrid learning spaces -
  extending into city an...
Questions of pedagogy and leadership

• ‘entredonneurship’ in
  the public sector
• Institutions are resilient
  - ‘organi...
“Mediated conversations at a
  cultural trading post” -
  forthcoming from TAPP
(www.tapprogramme.org)



The Creative Col...
Teaching in the arts through partnerships and collaboration: constructive tensions or impossible contradictions?
Teaching in the arts through partnerships and collaboration: constructive tensions or impossible contradictions?
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Teaching in the arts through partnerships and collaboration: constructive tensions or impossible contradictions?

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Slides from a seminar given at the School of Education, University of Exeter, October 2008. Exploring the issues in developing and sustaining artist-teacher partnerships.

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Teaching in the arts through partnerships and collaboration: constructive tensions or impossible contradictions?

  1. 1. Teaching (in) the arts through partnerships and collaboration: constructive tensions or impossible contradictions? Graham Jeffery G.Jeffery@uel.ac.uk
  2. 2. ‘Creative partnership’, contradictory drivers • ‘knowledge economy’ or • Rhetoric of skills, ‘knowledge society’…? competitiveness, innovation • Applying and using knowledge, not just reproducing it - needs • Technological change - a more generative/creative networking across curriculum? boundaries/hierarchies • ‘partnerships’ part of New Labour rhetoric of governance/ public sector management • Arts have caught onto this, and thus creative economy rhetoric Increasingly networked and collaborative institutional landscape…for education, business and society….
  3. 3. • The ubiquity of creativity discourses…
  4. 4. Performativity and creativity • Standards rhetoric • Open-ended tasks • Output measures • Integrative and connective • Intensive testing learning • Audit apparatus • Porous institutions and viral innovation • Risk aversion - making education ‘teacher-proof’? • Questioning and critical • Grading and comparison orientation - enquiry based learning • Functional knowledge and • Understanding social and skills cultural contexts for learning • Marketised environment …coexist in an uneasy and uncomfortable relationship
  5. 5. Change is a multidimensional process… ‘Top -down’ drivers ‘Bottom-up’ drivers • Standards rhetoric, but tempered with • Practice in the ‘inclusion’, personalisation, classroom (and beyond) creativity etc. still matters • Intense scrutiny of • Pedagogy counts institutional (and • Leadership and individual) performance innovation from below? • ‘Megaphone innovation’ Change and innovation can be activated in the institutional gaps and spaces of this agenda….
  6. 6. Creative partnerships as panacea? • ‘deficit models’ of student and teacher performance • Creativity as a kind of catch all • As an intervention designed to ‘raise standards’? • A kind of stimulant from the outside (in the case of Creative PartnershipsTM)
  7. 7. It is about creative education, by which I mean helping teachers teach more creatively, using creative journeys as educational drivers and developing creative skills in young people. Creative education will for me achieve a range of benefits like linguistic development, more confident students, more motivated students who are more committed to education,more emotionally literate students, more curious students, imaginative kids with lots of ideas, students with an improved capacity to take intelligent risks etc”. (Paul Collard, interview in January 2006)
  8. 8. policy and practice: contexts • creativity as a rhetoric within the umbrella of policy…or a challenge? • partnerships - to take learning beyond the classroom setting • developing more ‘authentic’ contexts for learning? • productive pedagogies that share multiple territories and build bridges between different interests…require new ways of thinking about teaching, learning and leadership
  9. 9. Policy and practice: conflicts  Cultural policy, the creative economy and community identities • Is it about arts and culture or about creativity across the whole curriculum? Or both?  Place marketing, civic boosterism, youth and social inclusion  Rhetorics and realities of creativity and cultural diversity  relationships between different kinds of institutions and professional identities
  10. 10. different contexts… different rhetorics…
  11. 11. Huge claims…and implementation is far from being systematic or system-wide… • Rather, has the status of a set of (uncontrolled) experiments • A repository for all sorts of different pedagogic practices… • A cauldron of innovation and/or a confusing mess?
  12. 12. Arts education is caught up in these tensions… • Arts education as a • Expressive aims alongside repository/refuge for ‘subject knowledge’ is a potent creative practices within mix schools and colleges? • ‘Role ambiguity’ in partnership- based pedagogies… • Some types of curriculum and assessment are more tolerant of these than others… • Hybrid and unsettled forms of identity and professional practice? • Teacher/artist/educator…
  13. 13. This work is fed by many different traditions and approaches…e.g: • In the US ‘teaching artist’ • Artist in residence • In Europe ‘animateur’ • Public artist • In the UK ‘creative • Artist as agent agent’? provocateur? • The arts as repository of cultural tradition/identity • Teacher as practitioner • Youth and community arts • Teacher as artist • Community media • Teacher as activist • Socially engaged arts • Teacher as expert and role practice mode • Theatre in education, community dance
  14. 14. Complex relationships between arts sector and education… • Many artists have supported/ • Many teachers of the arts supplemented their practice have professional histories in by working in education the arts (particularly FE and HE?) But…many other teachers are uneasy and uncomfortable with the principles and practice of arts education and prefer more fixed/easily defined approaches…
  15. 15. Arts education institutions gain huge value from this blurriness • It resources practice • Organisations can be hubs and brokers • A lot of movement • You need to acknowledge between the inside and cultural practice from outside outside of organisations the institution… for ‘creative professionals’ - • Students benefit from hybridity? working with ‘professional artists’ • Models of ‘stealth mentoring’ and informal apprenticeship - a characteristic of British cultural education?
  16. 16. This mediation and negotiation is part of the condition of being in a pluralistic education system… • Use of time, space, and resources provides the ‘legislative’ framework/ social architecture within which schools operate - but how flexible and open is it? • Are the conditions and space for collaboration present? • Relationships between formal and informal learning…
  17. 17. Creative partnerships imply… • New types of relationship between formal and non-formal education provision • Recognising the value of these models of learning means confronting awkward and difficult questions for more established institutions and curricula
  18. 18. Three stories about these issues….
  19. 19. 1. The story of ‘Home’ • Hybrid curricular/extra curricular project • In the context of a connective vocational performing arts curriculum • Artist-teacher led • The ethics and risks associated with this work…
  20. 20. 2. A story from TAPP (www.tapprogramme.org) • Artists and teachers in dialogue as part of a sustained programme of professional development • Action research/enquiry partnerships
  21. 21. “Difficulties in the theory: is it just me? - the constant call for collaboration in an area which is often about a fairly solitary, highly personal exploration - the emphasis on verbal communication in a subject which is often about an individual language that has nothing to do with words - the focus on Artists as some sort of uniquely, innately skilled creative problem solvers who will be able to redress an inherent lack in the system - The desire to promote equal partnerships in a system where artists and teachers can never be equal - a blurring of expectation between the definitions; ‘artist’ and ‘art educator’ - an over-simplification of what an artist is, packaging them to fulfil a ‘required’ service. - Time, as a contributing factor to all the above is not valued enough and only recently being analysed. (Thurle Wright, artist)
  22. 22. 3. A story about ‘dissemination’ • Risk of adopting an uncritical approach to policy • How to maintain an activist and challenging edge • Being alive to the contradictions in policy rhetoric
  23. 23. Challenges… • Articulating the theories that underpin the approaches to learning more clearly - building a case and explaining pedagogies • Being aware of contradictions - it’s in the cracks that we can open up ‘spaces in the standards agenda’
  24. 24. It’s in the cracks and fissures of the systems and the rhetoric that creative solutions emerge… But.. • Values? • Ethics? • Climate/culture for creative partnership is important • ‘Reflective practice’ and ‘action research’ as a reconciling strategy?
  25. 25. Context and community…not just standards and structures • New hybrid learning spaces - extending into city and community - linked to ‘learning city’ movement: building frameworks of support for cross-sector partnership - this is political… • Example of Stratford Circus in East London - as learning space shared between formal and non-formal sector: www.stratford-circus.com
  26. 26. Questions of pedagogy and leadership • ‘entredonneurship’ in the public sector • Institutions are resilient - ‘organisational hacking’ is needed • Ethical frameworks and professional cultures - imagining kinds of new professions and approaches…the artist- educator, the teacher- artist…
  27. 27. “Mediated conversations at a cultural trading post” - forthcoming from TAPP (www.tapprogramme.org) The Creative College: building a successful learning culture in the arts (Trentham Books, 2005) G.Jeffery@uel.ac.uk generalpraxis.blogspot.com

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