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‘Getting Hands On with Other Creative Minds’: Establishing a Community of Practice around Primary Art and Design at the Art Museum

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At a time of widespread concern over the decline of art teaching in schools, this article considers the findings of a practitioner led action research project exploring the potential of art museum and artist‐led CPD (Continued Professional Development) programmes to develop primary teacher knowledge, skills and confidence teaching in art and design. The project involved 68 teachers from over 40 primary schools who were introduced to a Renaissance painting of Cupid and Psyche in a series of training sessions at the museum in early 2019. Schools were then invited to submit art work to an end‐of‐project exhibition which opened in December. Over the course of the year, more than 500 children aged between 4 and 11 visited the museum to look at the painting and more than 3,800 studied it at school using specially created digital learning resources. We draw on survey and email feedback, interviews, blog posts, photographs and artwork collected during the project to discuss how the project provided expert training about art objects, materials and processes and brought teachers together to transform practice and extend pupil outcomes. We also consider how a constructivist pedagogy might encourage more participatory, open ended and playful approaches to teaching art and design to stimulate careful looking, deep thinking, and experimentation with materials and techniques. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential of communities of practice to bring together artists, teachers and art museum professionals to support the development of visual literacy and creativity in children and young people.



Original Article, Original Articles, teacher training, visual literacy, making, museum education, primary art and design, creativity, practitioner research

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International Journal of Art & Design Education

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