iJADE Conference 2014

24th - 25th October 2014. Tate Liverpool.

Collaborative Practices in Arts Education

The fifth iJADE international conference for research into arts education was organised by Emma Godding and Rachel Merriman of the University of Chester’s Education research centre RECAP (Research into Education, Creativity and Arts through Practice) with the support of the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), and took place at Tate Liverpool and Liverpool Maritime Museum over two days, 24 and 25th October 2014. The conference, one of the University’s 175th anniversary events, was very well attended by delegates from the arts education community across the world. 17 nationalities were represented, including Hong Kong, South Korea, UAE, China, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, USA, Chile, Turkey, Serbia, Finland, Cyprus and many European countries, as well as a large number of UK delegates including a good representation from the University of Chester's staff and students. Our hosts, Tate Liverpool, provided a world-class venue with their famous collection of contemporary art and the characterful studios and seminar rooms in its riverside Albert Dock buildings.

Professor Jeff Adams opened the conference with a warm welcome and introduced this year’s theme: collaboration in the field of arts education. The presentations at the conference covered a wide range of issues within this theme, and we were fortunate to have some of the foremost thinkers on arts education as our keynote presenters: jan, Kerry Thomas and Janna Graham. jagodzinski, Professor of Education at the University of Alberta, Canada, and a renowned expert on arts and media in education, opened the conference with an address alerting us to the appropriation of collaborative practices by designer capitalism. This proved to be a stimulating start to the conference, and many delegates picked up on the issues that jan had raised during their own presentations. The next morning Kerry Thomas, Associate Professor in Education in the University of New South Wales, and a State curriculum adviser, gave the second keynote and spoke of the different types and levels of collaboration and of the ethical complexities of introducing it into the curriculum. Our final keynote address, given by Janna Graham, curator and educator at the Serpentine Gallery in London, discussed collaborative arts responses of local neighbourhoods in London that are subject to disadvantageous development.

The packed programme listed more than 60 presentations to be delivered by delegates in parallel sessions over the two days, covering a very wide range of issues around collaboration. The sessions were organised around themes of collaboration: between disciplines and institutions; as co-creation within gallery education; as a pedagogical methodology; as an approach to design; as a feature of early years and primary education; in practice-led research; as a learning community; its effects upon teacher education; and in democratic education.

The Journal’s editorial team staged a session on academic writing for journals for new researchers. One of the purposes of the iJADE conference is to generate and support new writing and new research in arts education. Each year the conference encourages this by featuring a delegate nomination system for outstanding presentations, where the authors are invited to submit a revised version of their paper for publication in iJADE in a special issue devoted to the conference.

The conference included a curator’s guided tour of Tate’s current exhibition. This display was part of the Liverpool Biennial of contemporary art, which was in full swing at venues around the city at the time of the conference. The contemporary issues and topics that were raised by the artworks in the Biennial enhanced and enriched the discussions generated by the conference, as was evident in the lively debates that sprang up when the delegates gathered for the conference dinner.

NSEAD president Susan Coles closed the conference with an inspiring talk about practised-based collaborative professional development for art teachers.

The editorial team of iJADE are members of RECAP and comprise: Professor Jeff Adams (Principal Editor), Dr Sandra Hiett (Deputy editor); co-editors: Dr Wendy Hyde, Dr Claire Penketh (Liverpool Hope University), Dr Madeleine Sclater (Glasgow School of Art), Deborah Riding (Tate Liverpool); Emma Godding (administrator), Rachel Merriman (organising assistant). iJADE is published by Wiley Blackwell and is part of the Thomson Reuter Social Science Citation Index.