Common approaches

When we looked at artists working with children and young people, we found some common practices. No single artist used all of them in any one project. They always made a selection to suit the nature of the project, the stage it was at, the students, the art form and the kind of tasks that were involved. Artists used combinations of these practices, adapting their sequencing and pacing to particular circumstances. They often improvised on the spot, responding to events and the students’ needs and interests. This meant that artists, like expert teachers, were continually ‘reading’ the students, as well as keeping an eye on the longer term project and the agreed product or production. They also had to continually monitor themselves and their artistic input.

We have identified nineteen elements which help to give creative signature pedagogies their distinctive character. We have grouped these into five common approaches.

(1) Artists carefully managed time and space.

(2) Artists consciously worked with stories

(3) Artists looked for ways to make a special occasion

(4) Students were encouraged to be artists

(5) Artists made sure the classroom was a highly social and sociable place.