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Debates in Art and Design Education

Addison, N; Burgess, L; (2012) Debates in Art and Design Education. [Book]. Routledge: Abingdon, UK.

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This book is being published at a critical time for the subject Art and Design. Despite the fact that Ofsted (2009) claim that it is one of the best-taught subjects in the curriculum, as we write, its status as a foundation subject is under threat. By the time this book is published, the decision over whether to deny its statutory status will have been taken. We have recently received positive recommendations from the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum Review (James et al. 2011), who not only claim that Art and Design should remain as a foundation subject at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 but also recommend that it should be an option in the basic curriculum at Key Stage 4; nevertheless, we are still unsure how the government will respond. We hope that sense will prevail. John Steers’ chapter in this book gives an account of the negotiations that have been taking place between professional organisations such as NSEAD and the UK coalition government, and here sense does not appear to have been winning the day. Steers demonstrates how fraught the process has proved, irrefutable arguments for the subject being rejected in the coalition government’s rush to instigate a so-called English Baccalaureate (EBac). This qualification, in its current form at the beginning of 2012, denies a place for art and design. The EBac replicates, almost exactly, the Victorian ‘middle class’ curriculum of 1868 and thus regresses to a set of subjects designed to fortify the British Empire and its administrative needs at home and overseas. The absence of art and design demonstrates politicians’ reactionary failure to acknowledge the development of one hundred and fifty years of art education (which has had a global reach) while also ignoring the needs of the twenty-first century. In particular they have chosen to overlook the pivotal role of art and the visual more widely within contemporary society, specifically in relation to communications, digital technologies, the built environment and international design and fine art networks.

Type: Book
Title: Debates in Art and Design Education
ISBN: 0415618878
ISBN-13: 9780415618878
DOI: 10.4324/9780203100714
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203100714
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069471
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