11 Course Leaders: 20 Questions

A division into specialisms also challenges the group critique which is commonly practiced in the broad-based model, where students discuss each others’, work, assumptions and values. Harris thinks this group-critique model can potentially ‘lead to a conceptual, stylistic or attitudinal homogeneity’ which he doesn’t like. Instead, he thinks Wimbledon, with its subject divisions, offers a more democratic and pluralistic approach – one which emphasises diversity.

Whether it is ‘Thinking through Making’, or ‘Making through Thinking’, historically, contemporary art practice and art education also included an art history and critical theory component. This also highlights another key question of BA art education: whether art history and theory should be taught as part of the course. Sarah Rowles first entered Goldsmiths as an student of art history, but changed her mind after studying for a year, instead graduating from the BA Fine Art practice programme. As a graduate who had experienced both disciplines at Goldsmiths, she asked the BA Fine Art course leader Michael Archer the reason for not teaching art history in the practice course.

Michael Archer is not a practicing artist, instead he has a History of Art degree and a prolific career as a critic and writer. Archer agrees that knowledge of art history can benefit anyone who practices art. Nevertheless, he also believes that the studying of art history ‘should not be prioritised over having knowledge of other things.’ For Archer, art history is as important as any other personal or professional development which helps the student to become an artist, whether it is the craft skills of knowing how to paint, or familiarity with the world outside the art college.


無論是‘以思考帶領創作’或是反其道而行之的‘以創作引領思考’的模式,在當代藝術教育中,藝術理論跟創作往往有著緊密的聯繫。這也往往引出另外一個藝術教育的問題,在本科純藝專業裡,需要開設藝術史和藝術理論的課程嗎?這本書的作者薩拉·羅斯最先是以一名藝術史學生的身份來到金史密斯學院,在一年的學習後,她改變主意轉到了純藝專業。作為一名在金史密斯學院對兩門不同專業都有經歷過的畢業生,羅斯問到學院的課程主任邁克爾·阿徹(Michael Archer)為什麽不在純藝術課程裡開設藝術史課程。



For Archer, the most important reason of not including art history classes as part of the pedagogy was the worry of potentially restricting students’ curiosity, imagination and willingness to experiment. It is therefore left up to the students themselves to find out more about art history, should they believe that it would inform their practice, in the same way that they can seek technical guidance in workshops such as print-making and photography to feed into their art-making.

The book’s Q&A format also prevents it from simply being a ‘manual of art course comparison’. The ambition of the book lies beyond just comparing these different dynamics of art education by also reflecting on these courses against the background of art education in the UK generally.

In the years after the financial crisis of 2008, the Art and Humanities education sector suffered greatly in terms of receiving reduced government funding. One of the shared experiences of most colleges was the lost of funding which affected institutions and students. For the latter, the situation had worsened by 2012, when tuition fees went up to £9,000 per year.




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