The Multiple Personalities of Art Education: A History of Art Education in the United Kingdom

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


    The justification of art education in school curricula and the teaching approaches that should be employed in the UK have been the subject of much debate since the eighteenth century. Primarily, the debate can be distilled down to the following competing paradigm dyads: utilitarian versus libertarian; self‐expression versus tradition; and education in art versus education through art. However, rather than drawing conclusions, the debate is ongoing, fueled by the political and economic context of the times, with the result of a never‐ending see‐sawing from one opinion to the other. Beginning with the rise of industrial art education and the Great Crystal Palace Exposition of 1851 and culminating in the dominance of creativity and culture in creating a sustainable future, the aim of this chapter is to present a concise history of the debate in art education in the UK, demonstrating the inextricable relationship with politics and economics and the constant focus on creating a successful but unknown future for children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Art and Design Education
    EditorsRichard Hickman, John Baldacchino, Kerry Freedman, Emese Hall, Nigel Meager
    ISBN (Print)978-1-118-97807-8
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


    • child art education
    • education in art
    • education through art
    • history of art
    • UK


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