Access to Art
Fox, Alice (2007) Access to Art InQbate, Brighton, UK.
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This chapter charts the progress of Fox’s systematic teaching-based pedagogic research into inclusive learning and teaching methods for students - both with and without learning disabilities - within the arts education sector. Built upon a sustained programme of research that originated with her 2001 study for the Arts Council which concluded that learning-disabled people with artistic talent had limited chances to improve their skills, Fox undertook a thorough analysis of partnership working between the university and the community through Access to Art. Funded by InQbate: the CETL (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) in Creativity, and with support from the LearnHigher CETL (a partnership of 16 universities and the Higher Education Academy), Fox’s research centred on investigations into a new model of creative documentation and reflective, practice-based evaluation for participants with and without learning disabilities. Her research recognised that opportunities for art practice in the Brighton area (as in many other locations nationally) were largely confined to day-centre classes without professional help or equipment, or to non-accredited, segregated courses. Significantly, Fox’s research studies have established an excellent model for the kind of inclusive learning envisaged in the 2001 Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, also resulting in participants with complex learning disabilities exhibiting their artwork at the Tate Modern in May 2005. Her research considered the words of many participants, drawing on interviews, written reflections and video diaries. Interim findings of this research project in Fox’s paper, ‘Access to Art - testing the limits of diversity and inclusion’ published in Pam Coare et al. (eds) 'Diversity and Difference in Lifelong Learning: Proceedings of 35th Annual Conference SCUTREA 2005); also in her 'Access to Art' presentation (with Ridley) at the HEA Curriculum Innovation for Diversity Conference at York (2006).
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