Loving art education: how does artist teacher practice have potential as third-site pedagogy in school?

Wild, Carol Ann (2021). Loving art education: how does artist teacher practice have potential as third-site pedagogy in school? University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis contributes both conceptually and methodologically to artist-teacher research through turning specific attention to what the objects of artist-teacher practice might do in the classroom. Taking a speculative, arts informed, ethnographic approach, it entangles with the tentative arts practice of five teachers in their classrooms, in four English schools, over a period of approximately nine months. It brings the art they make into relation with the complex material relations of neoliberal schooling as it is experienced by teachers, colleagues, students and objects in their individual classroom contexts. Being planted within the fertile ground of English art education and English art classrooms this entanglement connects with the legacy of the Arts Council England funded Artist Teacher Scheme (ATS) and responds to previous research connected to the ATS that called for further attention to the impact of artist-teacher practice in the classroom. The thesis considers the changing ideal of artist-teacher practice in England over the last twenty years since the Artist Teacher Scheme was formed. It thus entangles with the ideal of creativity that informed policy and practice at the beginning of the century and the ideal of knowledge (and the knowledge-rich curriculum) prevalent during the progress of the study. The thesis utilises the insights of those writing across critical, phenomenological, new materialist and new pragmatic thinking to imagine the affective complexity of continually changing art classrooms and the objects of artistic practice.

The key questions asked are:

• What can the ‘turn’ to the ideal of ATP at the beginning of the twenty-first century tell us about contemporary experiences of teachers and students in schools.
• What ‘ways of being’ does classroom-oriented ATP potentially model?
• What is it that classroom-oriented ATP does (or has the potential to do)?

Through the art objects participating teachers created two kinds of practice were identifiable, amateurish practices that might be given the preface ‘just...’ and more considered practice that was more than ‘just...’ Amateur ‘just...’ practices, though impactful, were found to leave the teacher and the work-of-art vulnerable, whereas more than ‘just...’ practice, although risky, had the potential to be more robust and stand on its own. Both forms of practice had a role in ensuring that the classroom is a creative as well as a compliant space for all that participate in it, offering the possibility of an aesthetic life. The final chapters draw on Foucault’s notion of the heterotopia, Wilsons third-site pedagogy and Ranciere’s ‘distribution of the sensible’, to propose that even minor instances of artist-teacher practice can have ethical and political affect, extending possible ways of being for teachers, students and objects, beyond as well as within the classroom, through making visible the possibility of an aesthetic life.

The study will be of interest to the artist teacher community, art teachers and those interested in teacher training and development. It is also relevant to those interested in the materiality of the classroom, the pedagogical force of objects and the political dimension of aesthetic relations in school.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: Other
Other Funders: School of Education Doctoral Research Studentship
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11565


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