The Process, Challenges and Opportunities of Developing a Curriculum in a Creative and Therapeutic Arts Undergraduate Degree Programme

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    Abstract

    This paper reflects upon the process, the challenges and the opportunities realised in the recent revalidation activity of an undergraduate degree programme in Creative and Therapeutic Arts (CTA) in the UK. The premise of the revalidation activity and the historical context of the course is briefly encapsulated, before engaging with theoretical frameworks at the forefront of contemporary Participatory Arts practice. This includes an initial focus on the relevance of Critical Disability Studies to Participatory Arts education, followed by exploration of the contrasting approaches of Socially Engaged Art practice, Inclusive Arts practice, Participatory Arts practice, Arts in Health and Arts Therapies. The challenge of defining a diverse practice which draws from such contrasting perspectives is further explored in relation to the challenge of working on the boundary between artistic and therapeutic practice. Geographical context is considered, drawing from the Welsh evidence base to inform culturally relevant provision. Curriculum design is reviewed in relation to experiential learning and inclusive practice literature, as well as relevant higher education policies. Upon briefly summarising the revalidated curriculum, a critical discussion around the future of the training and the discipline more broadly is developed, considering the contribution of the critical review and focus groups facilitated as part of this revalidation activity. It is hoped that this discussion will further nurture and challenge educators, students and practitioners in this exciting area of evolving, contemporary practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)98-112
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Art and Design Education
    Volume39
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2019

    Keywords

    • pedagogy
    • curriculum development
    • participatory arts
    • inclusive practice
    • art and design
    • higher education

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