In 2017, The University of Tasmania introduced new core degree structures reflecting major curriculum renewal across art and music and their multiple sub-disciplines. In 2019, further new curricula in design and interdisciplinary creative arts will be rolled-out, expanding the core and widening study options for our diverse learners. As part of the University’s broader curriculum renewal agenda, these changes reflect a radical overhaul of a set of value propositions for the creative arts disciplines and a commitment to social engagement, sustainability, the ethics of practice, and enterprise skill development.
Following ACUADS 2016, in which colleagues reported on the curriculum design phase, this paper reports on aspects of the initial delivery of Critical Practices – the rollout of the first of the core unit sequence of the BFA (Hons). With an entirely new, co-taught structure drawn around praxis and blended learning, challenges and discoveries arose every week. We are learning from our development of a distributed teaching model that spans sites in the north and south of the state, digital platforms, and sub-disciplines. Our particular reference point here is the ‘Manifesto’ module in which teaching staff employed the manifesto form to encourage learners to establish and declare their own value propositions. As a critical and diagnostic form, the ‘Manifesto’ module sought to identify and build value from the ground up, through instilling highly responsive and reflexive learning practices.
Our reporting here offers some consideration of the role that ‘un-disciplinary’ thinking has played in the development of our new degree structures, and the contribution it makes to our core disciplinary expectations. We highlight some of our efforts to create porosity and osmotic potential in the context of the new institutionally-mandated degree structure we are working within, and its emergent value schema that we are hatching in this phase of curriculum renewal. Far from negating or even ameliorating the former disciplinary model, we aspired for our new units to create conditions for developing critical and reflexive thinking and practice and points of ideational interchange.