Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

Posted in Education Education Education

Certainly an interesting week with the BBC giving much more attention to the USA public services “close-down” that it did to the teacher industrial action in parts of the UK. Mr Gove’s rather flat speech at the Conservative Conference hardly lit any fires, and his comment about striking teachers and other assorted enemies of promise being obsessed with ideology brings to mind that expression “pot calling kettle black”.

I have had some interesting sessions with teachers too. I ran a Creativity session with the Art and Design and Design Technology department at Walbottle Campus. It was designed to get the etachers back into thinking just what teaching for creativity and creative teaching actually is. Too often that word “creativity” is used without a shared understanding of what it means. Building in some practical tasks made the creativity definitions memorable, in that these illustrated the process. That makes it easier to recall and remember. It is a large team of teachers who are all working together on developing teaching and learning across the areas.The other (important) factor of course being that we had some FUN. I am continuing with my mission to put the “F” word back into education!

I also ran a session with Art and Design subject leaders from the north east Catholic Partnership with the question “Is your Art curriculum a 21st century one?” and this debate was really explored in depth with some fascinating examples of how people are moving their curriculum on with technology and with content. The subject of censorship in our subject was also discussed, the general opinion being that we don’t censor but we do guide our students towards seeing alternatives and understanding a balanced view of a focus or topic. There was a great openness to fresh ideas and new ways of thinking from the group. Thanks to Sara Crawshaw for inviting me to talk to the subject leaders.

This week we have also finalised the agenda for the October 15th All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft, Design education. Dan Jarvis, Shadow Minister for Culture will be coming to explain the Labour Party six points for Culture proposal. We are discussing the Cultural Education plan, the recent Cultural Alliance Report on the effects of the E-Bacc, feedback from recent debates in the House of Lords, NEXT SKILLS GEN’s work, our continued concern about how the subject is being affected by educational “reforms”, and the NSEAD’s alternative national curriculum platform. It is an important forum for the art education community and we do hope that we will start to get more support from key policy makers. On that topic of support, our chair Sharon Hodgson MP has been awarded an AccessArt star for her work on this! Pleased to say that I also was nominated for one (“blush”).

Six Point Plan for Culture

AccessArts STARS

Cultural Learning Alliance Report



Midlands Girl

3800 days ago

I’m so pleased you are taking concerns to parliament and hope that you can get a foot in the door of trying to get them to listen.

sammy g

3783 days ago

are you going to the Art Party Conference in Scarboro? where will you be?

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