About Signature Pedagogies

This website is about the signature pedagogies of creative practitioners in schools. It presents the results of a research project which examined twelve artists at work. Through our research, we came to see that there was something as distinctive about their creative practices as a handwritten signature.

We took the idea of signature pedagogies from research which explored how different disciplines in universities worked. Researchers found that there were some common pedagogical approaches across clusters of disciplines, but there were also distinctive practices, such as the field trip in geography and studio practice in architecture. We know that there are also specific signature pedagogies in the arts – for example, the workshop in creative writing, the studio ‘crit’ session in contemporary art, the vocal warm-up in singing and so on. These distinctive practices are not just about knowledge. They also set out deliberately to teach ‘habits of mind’, the ways of thinking about a subject, doing it and being a professional in the area.

And what is pedagogy? We see pedagogy as more than teaching method, more than curriculum, more than assessment practice. It is all these things, but it is also how they are made into patterns of actions, activities and interactions by a particular teacher, with a particular group of students. Pedagogy encompasses relationships, conversations, learning environments, rules, norms and culture within the wider social context. It also extends beyond school to community and public settings.