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Nurturing strategic Intelligence in Art Education through Using Assessment to Improve Self-regulated Learning and Self-regulated Creativity

Leslie Cunliffe

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This presentation will discuss the purposes and practices of assessment in art education. In so doing, it will come out strongly in favour of practices that promote and cultivate the dispositions that lead to self-regulated learning and self-regulated creativity. Adopting such a strategic approach to nurturing self-regulated cognition and developing certain character traits for creativity requires a radical change in the current assessment culture of art education in the UK, which predominantly continues to use assessment for alternative and often educationally regressive ends. The critique of current practices of assessment in art education offered in this presentation is built on a variety of sources and arguments to include: wider research in assessment; research in two paradigms of cognitive psychology that identify the salient cognitive processes and dispositions that are required to achieve self-regulated learning, research that provides a multi-level analysis of learning to include the Neo-Vygotskian idea of mentor/apprentice relationships that operate in a participation theory of learning; Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mind that makes a distinction between following a rule for action and acting in accordance with a rule, and which also exposes a dualistic view of mind and its corollary of a mentalist shadow world of intuition; research that makes up the new sociocultural paradigm of learning and creativity that has established a key role for mentors giving expert instruction for improving learning and creativity, as well as the significance of the duration of time taken to build and deliberately practice the necessary knowledge and skills for achieving excellence; and, finally, work in virtue that sees epistemic and creative reliability as emerging and operating in an analogous way to ethical virtue in that all three require the deliberate acquisition of stable character traits and habits of mind that go down deep.

Author Bio(s)

Leslie Cunliffe is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, where he has experience of undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and higher degree supervision He has taught undergraduates studio-based practice, art history and critical theory. He runs the secondary PGCE art course, which has a national reputation for excellence. Before taking up his current post, he taught in secondary schools for fourteen years. His research embraces a range of topics to include empirical aesthetics, cognitive processes and art education, assessment and learning how to learn in art education, the relationship between sociocultural and psychological processes and art education, and the role of declarative and procedural knowledge in art education, through to reconstructivist aesthetics and Wittgenstein’s philosophy. He has published several papers on Wittgenstein’s philosophy and art education, and has also published work on Ernst Gombrich and Peter Fuller. His most recent work has appeared in the 2006 (40,1) issue of the Journal of Aesthetic Education, the 2005 (31,4) issue of the Oxford Review of Education, a chapter in the 2005 book Critical Studies in Art Education (Intellect publications), and the 2005(24,2) issue of The International Journal of Art and Design Education. He also has two chapters in a forthcoming (2006) book on Assessment and Art Education (Element Books).