Critical Contexts in Art Education

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 6 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 72

Contact Hours: 30

Assessment Hours: 48


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module introduces learners to critical contexts in art education. It aims to offer an expansive field for research to enrich a prospective art teacher’s understanding of the origins as well as on-going developments through western and non-western influences.  Learners will have the opportunity to delve into contemporary issues and pedagogical practices in the 21st century. The module will expose them to situations where they are encouraged to explore historical and social backgrounds and respond to contemporary issues while also developing their own way of creating and working in a learning community. Through an art-based research approach and self-directed learning, prospective teachers will be challenged to extend and expand their understanding of teaching and learning practices.

The module also focuses on different teaching and learning scenarios at different levels.  Essential questioning drives the learning participants to understand the importance of preparing schemes of work, lesson plans and records of work at different levels and in different contexts.  This part of the module also gives a lot of importance to reflective practice, where prospective art teachers understand the different stages of learning as well as the importance of continuous professional development. Ultimately, the results of this module are reached through multiple discussions, presentations, group critiques, as well as assigned written components. Throughout, learners are encouraged to cross reference with other learning components in their course and critically reflect on their own learning experiences. This in turn will help them become better reflective art educators.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Develop a philosophy and an approach towards Art education that demonstrates consistency across a given curriculum;

b. Generate and formulate innovative ideas through an art-based research approach on given tasks related to Art teaching and learning;

c. Use self-directed learning to actively reflect 21st century pedagogical practices in the art room;

d. Develop lessons for different audiences using critical thinking and reflective skills;

e. Prepare schemes of work and lesson plans whilst combining art theory and practice;

f. Create lessons which apply basic elements of the art curriculum such as intent, content, organisation/planning, time management and expectations;

g. Create appropriate resources for lessons according to student level and learning environment.


a. Reflect on new knowledge acquired from contemporary literature about art education in both theory and practice;

b. Identify the importance of blooms taxonomy in all teaching and learning approaches in art education;

c. Describe various theories of learning and conceptions of knowledge, and how they relate to curricular development in art;

d. Identify and discuss events, and issues that shaped the field of art education over the years.


a. Use the Blooms Taxonomy approach in the various stages of planning;

b. Demonstrate ability to contextualise works of art in view of their historical and social background while also considering art in an educational context;

c. Develop knowledge and understanding of the art teacher’s professional responsibilities;

d. Demonstrate a good grasp of the relevant curriculum at required levels;

e. Demonstrate understanding of learning standards according to level;

f. Develop an art-based approach towards research and project development.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Presentations, Group Discussions and Written Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Barney, D.T. (2019) “A/r/tography as a Pedagogical Strategy: Entering Somewhere in the Middle of Becoming Artist”, International Journal of Art & Design Education,  38, no. 3, pp. 618-626.
  2. Eisner Elliot W. & Day Michael D. eds. (2004). Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education. Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  3. Hall J. (2010). Making Art, Teaching Art, Learning Art: Exploring the Concept of the Artist Teacher. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 29: 103110.
  4. Hickman R. (2007). Visual Art as a Vehicle for Educational Research. Blackwell Publishing LTD.
  5. Hickman R. (2010). Why we make Art and Why it is Taught. Intellect Ltd. 2nd edition.
  6. Hume Helen D. (2014). The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide for Secondary Schools. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  7. Marschalek, D. (2004). Four Learning Environments for the Contemporary Art Education Classroom: Studio, Information, Planning, and Electronic.Art Education, 57(3), 33-41. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from
Supplementary Reading List
  1. Boyd W, Cutcher L., (2015). Learning from Early Childhood Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy: Inspiring Effective Art Education. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood ;40(1):91-98.
  2. Jagodzinski J. ed. (2017). What Is Art Education? After Deleuze and Guattari. Department of Secondary Education University of Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
    Palgrave macmillan
  3. Ruscoe Amelia, (2008). Classroom Art (Lower Primary): Drawing, Painting, Printmaking: Ages 5-7. RIC Publications Pty Ltd.
  4. Ruscoe Amelia, (2008). Classroom Art (Middle Primary): Drawing, Painting, Printmaking: Ages 8-10. RIC Publications Pty Ltd
  5. Ruscoe Amelia, (2008). Classroom Art (Upper Primary): Drawing, Painting, Printmaking: Ages 11+. RIC Publications Pty Ltd
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