Arts education: just like a day at the beach

McLaren, Mary-Rose (2012) Arts education: just like a day at the beach. Creative Approaches to Research, 5 (3). pp. 89-100. ISSN 1835-9442


Arts education is qualitatively different to other ways of learning and teaching. It is about experience rather than outcomes, self-awareness in conjunction with ‘other-awareness’, intuition rather than logic, and collaboration rather than competition. Creativity is a way of thinking and being, of finding or establishing new relationships between ideas or things, or indeed of having brand new ideas (Runco, 2007), allowing some part of the self to emerge and wave at the world. In our schools, creativity is most often linked to the arts: the arts are perceived as an expression of creativity (Atherton, 2011). Gibson and Ewing (2011, p.1) argue that ‘an Arts-led curriculum for children... is imperative if today’s students are to develop a sense of their own identity within their social and cultural worlds together with the creative and flexible thinking skills needed for coping with living in the twenty-first century’. O’Toole and Becket (2010) state that arts-informed inquiry ‘can provide a balance between rigour and creativity, imagery and accuracy, the individual and the collective’ (p. 76). This paper explores the nexus between the arts and creativity in an attempt to better understand what we mean by ‘creativity’, and whether creativity can be ‘taught’.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > SEO Classification > 9301 Learner and Learning
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords ResPubID26079, doing creatively, collaboration, being, communicating, communication, collaborative learning, engagement in teaching, unconscious, metaphors
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