AccessArt Enquiry-Based Learning For Teenagers: The Core Values

The Context

As with all
AccessArt resources and approaches, the AccessArt Enquiry-Based Pathways for Teenagers are based upon pedagogical understanding transferred and adapted from other settings. By this, we mean for example, understanding how creative adults inspire and enable their own creativity, and adapting this understanding to make it applicable and available to teenagers. Or exploring how art schools nurture creative thought and action, and applying adapted techniques to the secondary phase. Or exploring the drivers which make art relevant to all our lives, and sharing these with young people. Through the act of drawing down (and up) best practice ensures the visual arts education we offer young teenagers is relevant, challenging and exciting. 

The Core Values (or Lenses)

To create an art, craft & design curriculum around chronologies of movements, specific skills, or static themes does not feel appropriate for the 21st century. Instead, we have an opportunity, through the exploration of art, craft and design, to help develop skills, understanding and behaviours which will enable the next generation to recognise the value of their potential creativity and to help them feel more grounded, enabled and connected in a rapidly shifting world. Enabling pupils to explore their sense of creative capability and purpose, without fear, is our aim, and we propose the following 6 lenses or core concepts to help that exploration.

When we explore art, craft & design (in the 21st century) we need to…

Explore the relationship between Play & Purpose. Through art we show young people the importance of play is in helping to identify not just solutions, but also identify questions. Through art we enable teenagers to feel safe to be, and act, in a space where they do not yet know, but where they can discover and take creative risks. Through these actions we show young teenagers how to discover their sense of purpose and value.

Help young people explore Emotion & Understanding. Through art, we give pupils the opportunity to explore and access their emotions, express their current understanding, reflect, and communicate. Through art, craft & design we give pupils tools for exploring difficult conversations and staying with uncomfortable concepts, showing them a way to process and evolve.

Help build ways through which we can explore Identity & Empathy. How can we make art which helps us explore the relationship between self to other? How can we build empathy, curiosity and tolerance of “other” through our experience of art? How can we recognise and nurture a sense of creative entitlement in all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, or disability?

Explore the relationships between Physical & Digital. How do we use our physical bodies to sense our way in the world, and to create with physical materials? How might we use digital technologies to create in new ways, and to reimagine new relationships between physical & digital?

Explore when we might Listen, Speak, Collaborate. Through art we can explore when we might think, when we might act, and with whom. Through art we can explore what is real, what we believe, or don’t believe, and what those beliefs mean to the those around us. What can we do when we act individually? And when we act collaboratively?

Think about Sustainability. How do we make art in a sustainable way? How do we make art which comments upon and explores what sustainability might mean? How might we think about sustainability on different levels: personal, societal, global.

core values
Melissa - Glow in the dark - teenagers - SC
play and purpose
emotion and understanding
identity and empathy
physical and digital
listen, speak, collab
Teenagers Drawing Space
Students draw using compressed charcoal taped to long bamboo canes
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