Arts education theory, practice and potential

Module titleArts education theory, practice and potential
Module codeEFPM906
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Kerry Chappell (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

During this module, you will look at the role and value of the arts (Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art) in education contexts and make meaningful links between theory, research, policy, and practice.        Each art form will be individually considered and you will also engage in cross-arts/interdisciplinary approaches.  The module will go on to introduce you to understandings of the arts in educational futures and consider what alternatives they offer.  This will include both theoretical perspectives and practical applications within and beyond formal education. This will equip you with critical, reflective practice-focused approaches to developing possible educational futures in your own contexts.

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the nature of learning in and through the arts (Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art);
  • To develop knowledge through research and practice of how the arts can be brought together with each other and in interdisciplinary approaches
  • To provide an introduction to the importance of the arts in educational futures
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of specific issues related to learning and teaching the arts in different educational and cultural contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental elements, characteristics, and creative processes of Art, Dance, Drama and Music
  • 2. recognise ways in which the arts can contribute to learning in other subjects
  • 3. identify, and demonstrate a systematic understanding of, the nature and value of the arts to educational futures
  • 4. demonstrate a specialised knowledge of, and evaluate, the significance of learning and teaching the arts in different educational settings;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. reflect critically upon, and evaluate your own, understanding of learning and teaching in the arts, with an awareness of social and cultural context
  • 6. examine and appraise the module content, and research literature in order to question, modify and inform your own professional practice

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. synthesise and organise ideas to present an argument
  • 8. undertake both directed and independent study to recognise, justify and analyse key ideas in the literature relating these to practice
  • 9. present ideas in multi-modal ways, engaging in critical and reflective debate

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Arts education– the influence of culture, history and policy
  • Practical explorations of the elements of each art form and engagement with examples of learning and teaching through practice.
  • Inter-disciplinary learning between the arts and across curricula
  • Multi modal approaches to teaching and learning in and through the arts
  • How  educational futures are informed by creativity and learning in the arts
  • Inclusion and alternative approaches to teaching and learning exemplified through art forms
  • Tensions and dilemmas within different ways of thinking about the arts in educational futures

Independent, collaborative and peer to peer learning is encouraged. The module staff are well-connected to regional and international arts specialists and practitioners and the module usually includes connections to them.


Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3010 x 3 hour seminar/lectures/workshops/tutorials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities0.5Academic tutorial
Guided Independent Study80Directed study: preparation for seminars/workshops, including individual and group tasks
Guided Independent Study90Assignment preparation
Guided Independent Study100Self-directed study additional reading and practice


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical reflection on workshop (written)1000 words1-8Written tutor feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment 352,500 words 1-7Written tutor feedback
Online presentation and critical commentary655 minute presentation (1000 word equivalence) and 3, 000 words1-8Written tutor feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignmentWritten assignment1-76 weeks
Online presentation and critical commentaryOnline presentation and critical commentary1-86 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Abbs P. (2003) Against the flow: Education, the arts and post modern culture.  London: Routledge Falmer.   Chapter 8: Art against the Zeitgeist and The Coda

Barnes, J. (2007) Cross curricular learning 3-14. London: Sage

Biesta, G. J. J. (2006). Beyond learning: Democratic education for a human future. Boulder: Paradigm.

Bresler, L. (Ed) (2007) International handbook for research in arts education. Dordrecht: Springer.  (2 volumes)

Eisner, E.W. (2004) What Can Education Learn from the Arts about the Practice of Education? International Journal of Education and the Arts  5:4  pp1-12 

Facer, K., Craft, A., Jewitt, C., Mauger, S., Sandford, R., Sharples, M. (2011).   Building Agency in the Face of Uncertainty.      Outcome of ESRC Seminar Series on Educational Futures (2009-11) –  

Fleming, M. (2012) The arts in education: An introduction to aesthetics, theory and pedagogy. London: Routledge. 

Goldberg, G. (2000) Arts and learning. New York: Longman

Harland, J., Lord, P & Stott, A. (2005) The arts-education interface: A mutual learning triangle? Slough: NFER.

Harland, J., Lord, P & Stott, A. (2000) Arts education in secondary schools: Effects and effectiveness. Slough: NFER.

Inayatullah, S. (2015). What works: Case studies in the practice of foresight. Taipei: Tamkang University Press.

Inayatullah, S., (2008). Mapping Educational Futures. Six Foundational Concepts and the Six Pillars Approach. In     

Bussey, M., Inayatullah, S. & Milojevic, I. (eds).        Alternative Educational Futures:  Pedagogies for emergent worlds. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Robinson, K. (2015) Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education.  Viking.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Arts education, drama, visual arts, music, dance, educational futures

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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