The questions…

What are the key questions you want to be able to answer through this project?

  • Can attainment in schools be improved through performing arts subjects (particularly through dance)?
  • Can the current wide attainment gap between rich and poor be closed through subjects such as dance, music and drama?
  • How can the performing arts improve attainment?

Where will you look to find answers to these questions? 

  • Prior research on the attainment gap from, for example, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Research on the benefits of ¬†Performing Arts Education.
  • Real life case studies.

Who are your stakeholders for this project – ie. who will be impacted?

  • Students (particularly those who fall into the lower deciles from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.)
  • Performing Arts Teachers in developing their practice.
  • the Government, Head Teachers – anyone with an input into the curriculum and what best benefits young people.

What benefits may arise from a successful project? (For you and/or for others)

  • Closing the attainment gap.
  • Improving young people’s chances of reaching a positive destination.
  • Improving recognition for Performing Arts education.

What do you hope to learn from undertaking this project?

  • How can I, in my own teaching practice, best benefit the young people I teach?
  • How Performing Arts can be best used to close the attainment gap.
  • What schools need to do to improve opportunities for young people.

What is Critical Artistry?

This weekend I officially started at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on a Masters of Education in Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts. Together with other new Postgraduate and Masters students I arrived on Saturday morning for an introduction to the Approaches to Critical Artistry module and was challenged to think about what Critical Artistry actually was. After a two day conference here are my thoughts…

Critical Artistry is the ability to look at your own practice and deduce what areas within your Art could be improved upon and could improve the work of the learners you work with. In order to be a critical artist you must ask yourself questions and go on a self-reflective journey. Critical Artists provide themselves challenge within a boundary of an area already of interest to them. (If you don’t like it how can you produce your best piece of work on it?)

They should think about what questions they want answers to, where those answers might be found, who will benefit from the research and what those benefits will be, and finally what will be gained by the ‘Critical Artist’ themselves?

But critical artists don’t need to reinvent the wheel; it is important to read widely, looking at the context of what other work has gone on in this area before and formulate one’s own ideas and suggestions. With all of this in mind I am ready to embark on the learning journey and discover new things about myself and my field. So, what questions do I want answered…?