QATA response to The ARTS shaping paper

QATA response to The ARTS shaping paper

Dear colleagues,

As you will be aware, the current timeline for feedback to the ACARA Shaping Paper in the Arts requires your responses by December 17.

As in our previous advice to members, it’s very important that visual arts educators in Queensland take time to carefully consider the implications of the shaping paper for future arts curriculum and to provide feedback based on concerns or fresh ideas for the future of arts education.

Through discussion at QATA meetings and from consideration of issues that have been canvassed widely in the arts education community so far, we have arrived at a number of responses that are summarised here below:

+ We believe design is a distinct and coherent discipline and should have its own identity within the visual arts. It should not be blended into the five art forms as suggested in the Shaping Paper. It should not be framed as the (exclusive) domain of technology or industrial education in future national arts curriculum.

+ We oppose the idea that quality K-8 Arts learning could be delivered by non-specialist teachers.

+ We oppose the idea of blended or integrated K-8 Arts learning where the individual identities of arts forms risk being devalued.

+ We strongly endorse the focus on contemporary and traditional ATSI and Asia Pacific cultures and understandings in the shaping paper.

+ We believe that contemporary visual arts education can and should encompass a very diverse spectrum of practices, including time-based media, new media and multimedia. This reflects contemporary arts practice around the world.

+ We believe that Visual Arts and all other art forms have highly distinct identities, histories and theoretical frames. (This doesn’t rule out the strong interconnections among diverse art forms or the possibility of creative collaboration and cross-fertilisation).

+ We believe that the Arts, and visual arts in particular, are providing leadership in fields such as creative thinking, sustainability and innovation. There needs to be an explicit statement/vision about the wider stake visual art/arts have in 21st century education that goes beyond merely “aesthetic” understandings.

+ We strongly support the call for an extension of the Shaping Paper response period beyond December 17, since for classroom teachers, until the end of the school year, there is limited opportunity to focus and respond.

If you share these concerns we’d invite you to incorporate them in your feedback to ACARA. To respond to the ACARA survey, click here.

We realise there will be a spectrum of opinion among members and interested visual art educators, and we are asking you to share your thoughts more widely with us. If you agree/disagree, have concerns of your own, we want to hear from you.

In addition, there is currently a call for experienced curriculum writers to join ACARA to be involved in the drafting of the detailed curriculum arising from the shaping paper. We’d encourage interested members to apply.

Finally, we are hoping that the response date will be extended, however in the event that feedback is closed on December 17th, it’s important our voices are added to the discussion prior to that date.

Best wishes,

Les Hooper