Kerry THOMAS

Creativity as a Misrecognised Investment in the Transactions Between Art Students and Their Art Teachers in the Final Years of Schooling

Abstract:

This research reports on selected findings from a more extensive qualitative study of creativity in senior art classrooms. The research challenges theories of the creative process and the intentionality of the autonomously originating student. The study examines the transactions between art students and their art teachers as students make artworks for their NSW HSC Visual Arts examination. The investigation is theoretically underpinned by Bourdieu’s theories of the habitus and symbolic capital. These theories are demonstrably relevant for understanding creativity as a series of social and practical exchanges, the effects of which are both recognised and misrecognised. The study identifies the importance of the teachers’ and students’ investments in creativity, which accrues in their benefits over time. These investments, despite their disavowal, exert a powerful creative force in the properties of the resultant artworks and in the social relations in the classrooms. The selected findings as presented in this paper have an application beyond the case and should be of interest to tertiary art and design educators.

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Kerry THOMAS:

Kerry Thomas is a lecturer in Art Education at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, where she teaches in art and design education and practices of research. Her current research interests are concerned with investigating a sociology of creativity in the field of art education with a focus on the misrecognised economies of art classrooms. Kerry was previously Inspector, Creative Arts, Board of Studies NSW. Over many years she has contributed to the development of syllabuses and assessment in the Visual Arts K-12 and the HSC student exhibition ARTEXPRESS.