Room 13 and the contemporary practice of artist-learners

Authored by: Jeff Adams

The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning

Print publication date:  July  2011
Online publication date:  July  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548892
eBook ISBN: 9780203817568
Adobe ISBN: 9781136730047


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This discussion of Room 13, its community of learners, contemporary art practice and collaboration, should be seen in the context of critical writing on art education that has sought to challenge entrenched and expedient orthodoxies. As such it forms part of the wider debate in the US and the UK about transitions within art education towards the broader field of visual culture (Efland et al., 1996; Hughes, 1998). Attending to the social issues raised by engaging with contemporary art through creative and imaginative learning strategies is often problematic, and the difficulty of addressing these new modes of learning has been extensively explored in critical writing on art education in recent years (Atkinson, 2002; Addison and Burgess, 2003; Dalton, 2001; Swift and Steers, 1999; Dash, 2010; Adams et al., 2008). A common theme is the recognition of the need to encourage more extensive learning and communication methods, of the kind that are willing to embrace social and cultural dynamics as an integral, if unresolved, component of the curriculum. In this context the young school artists who comprise Room 13 represent an important development in art education, and one that has international significance. One of the key features that facilitate its distinctive pedagogy is the contemporary nature of its art practices.

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