Children as artists: the role of adults in supporting children's learning identity as artists

Hay, P (2019) Children as artists: the role of adults in supporting children's learning identity as artists. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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In this study, I interrogate my own professional practice as an art educator. In doing so, I draw on collaborative research with '5x5x5=creativity', with particular attention given to four elements of support identified in '5x5x5=creativity' current research as creative values (ethos and priorities of adults), creative environments (emotional climate, time, space, resources) creative relationships (between adults and children) and creative dispositions (behaviours, skills and capacities) and how these may support an individual child's developing identity as an artist. Data were gathered over a three-year period that focused on the role of the adult alongside children and, in particular, their pedagogical approaches. Methods included observations, field notes, artwork, interviews and reflective journals. The research focuses on a sample of two children, within a wider group, as they move through the age range 4-8 during their development as visual artists, since this age-phase represents a key phase of child development. Detailed analysis and interrogation of the data illuminates how the creative values, creative dispositions, creative environments and creative relationships contribute towards children's learning identity as artists. Findings from the study have led to a distillation of pedagogical characteristics that support a child's learning identity as an artist and include recommendations for a repertoire of creative pedagogy. These signal the role of the adult as a 'companion' in the child's learning, valuing self-directed enquiry related to the notion of heutagogy (rather than adults' prescriptions) and with an emphasis on the child's developing ideas and self-concept as an artist. The research has generated new insights into a pedagogical approach that has wider relevance and educational significance to the future of art education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

Thesis supervised by Prof. Dan Davies.

5x5x5=creativity is an arts-based charity based in the south west of England involving groups of artists, educators and cultural centres working in collaboration with children and young people. Information taken from the project website, written by Bancroft et al. (2008).

Keywords: art education, creativity, child development, reflective writing, environment, skills development, identity, fieldwork, creative pedagogy, artists
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 22 May 2019 13:10
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 15:11
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