2015 GLAD Conference: Controversy and Conformity: 25 years of transforming the academy

The Group for Learning in Art and Design was formed 25 years ago in response to changes in higher education which were to impact on how art and design was taught in higher and further education and specialist art schools.

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Early changes, such as modularisation, the massification of higher education, widening participation and the development of postgraduate courses brought both challenges and opportunities, which were the focus of much debate. The responses from the art and design sector were often viewed as controversial, ‘different’ and indicative of a discipline reluctant to conform.

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More recently the introduction of student fees and then higher fees, competition for students, internationalisation, employability, REF, NSS and a focus on the student experience continues to shape how we teach art and design, where we teach and how students learn.

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These are the key drivers for all disciplines. So have we transformed the academy, or has the academy transformed art and design? This conference offers the opportunity for academic staff, technical staff and research students to consider the purpose and value of art and design pedagogy in an increasingly complex, fast-paced environment and the space to reflect and learn from past experiences, in order to develop strategies, practices and techniques for the future.

Venue: Sheffield Institute of Arts, Sheffield Hallam University