Session 8: Contemporary Issues

Session Aims:

  • To be aware of a range of contemporary issues in art education
  • Gain an understanding into how an art co-ordinator can influence changes in practice in art education within educational settings
  • To be aware of a range of visual research approaches
  • To work as a group to present data in a visual way
  • To develop an independent piece of practical work in a medium of your choice

The art specialist students have been exploring contemporary issues relevant to primary art education. Each group have created a visual representation of an issue using physical or digital art mediums. Some of the issues and questions explored include:

Issue: Inclusion of craft skills in art and design.

Question: What can we do to encourage the use of craft skills in the primary school?
Sub Questions:
– Why are visitors, for example practising artists, important to help teach craft skills?
– How can popular culture can spark interest for pupils and craft makers?

The images below show the students visual exploration of the questions generated.

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Issue: Does SATs Pressure Reduce Creative Exploration at KS2?

These students used ThingLink to explore their issue, they provide link to useful sources of information which have informed their thinking.

Issue: Collaboration in primary art

Question:  Does creative collaboration between schools enhance Art Education?

Group Response: Video of Collaborative art work

Issue: Art Specialists VS Non-art Specialists: Benefits and Limitations.

Question: Are there benefits to being a non-art specialist teacher in primary art education?

Throughout the lesson we had to explore the controversial issue of the differences between the benefits and limitations of being a primary art specialist teacher or not.

Being art specialists ourselves we chose to head into the issue from the reverse of what would be normal for us: What were the benefits and limitations of not being an art specialist teacher.

Reading up and choosing to cover this in a time lapse we found 3-4 points for each argument, finding that, for example, it was quite beneficial not to be a specialist teacher due to being able to relate to the students when covering trickier aspects of the art, empathy became valuable.

Below is a link to the time lapse video we were able to create:




In a limited time frame the students have demonstrated a number of ways in which visual forms of articulation can aid people in not only exploring educational issues but also communicating them to an audience.

I would now like to invite the students to make comment about each others creations:

How can visual representation enhance research skills?

Do visual methods or visual practice demonstrate thinking skills? If so how?

What did you think of this experience? Did it help you to learn, if so how?


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