The Hidden Curriculum: Call for papers


Posted: 5 Feb 2015
By Andrew Sheridan
Submission date:
31 October 2015
Event date:
Friday, 22 January 2016 (All day)
Call Out

It is becoming increasingly important for NAFAE that we increase our traditional schedule of seminar events over the year and find ways of complementing relevant and compatible networks active in our field. The Hidden Curriculum theme is one of the strands covered at this year's PARADOX conference in Poznan, Poland, on September 9 and 10, 2015. Our members are supportive of the European network for Fine Art Education. We are keen that contributors to the Paradox conference in September might also attend the NAFAE symposium in January.

NAFAE has had a good response to our call for papers and some excellent submissions. Our aim is to run a one day event that will encourage questions and debate. We would like contributors, participating in either of the PARADOX or NAFAE events, to develop their abstracts and presentations into full-papers that may then go forward for review and possible publication in the Journal for Visual Arts Practice.

Art teachers and students are in a bind. They do not teach or learn art, but they also cannot talk too much about the fact that they do not teach or learn art.

James Elkins, 2001

strange to say how little has changed. The voice of management and the equal and opposite choruses of the rational planners and the creative spirits drone on undiminished. They say you should be wary of what you desire lest you are granted that which you wish for. The elevation of modular over linear teaching programmes, the educational incorporation of theory, the breakdown of the modernist medium specificity, the critique of the (mostly male) expressive author, perhaps even a questioning of the western canon were all songs in our radical repertoire. Yet in fact that these have come to pass and now count, if not as the norm, then as significant components of a contemporary education in art and design, has been in the end less significant than the fact that the underlying structure (and of course the wider structure-beyond-the-structure) has remained intact

Paul Wood, 2008

Right at the centre of fine art education is something nobody really wants to talk about….The neglected topic is nothing less than the definition of the subject itself

David Sweet, 1992


These writers are asking questions about what lies at the core of fine art education. This one day event offers a forum in which to discuss the nature of the Fine Art curriculum, and to reflect upon how it has changed – or not, since it’s introduction in the 1970s.

We are interested in receiving proposals for papers and workshops around the following themes:

  • How far does the reality of the delivery of fine art courses match the written descriptors that universities and the Quality Assurance Agency require of us?
  • Have Quality Assurance frameworks meant that the real curriculum has moved under the radar?
  • Is there such a thing as an internal and external curriculum in fine art?
  • What effect have the QAA Art & Design Subject Benchmark Statements had on the nature of fine art provision in the UK?
  • How do students understand and negotiate our complex delivery systems? What do they see as the course?
  • Do we need to subvert regulatory frameworks and systems in order to facilitate the kind of learning that is particular to a fine art education?
  • Has the artist/ educator lost out in the process of standardization? Where are the spaces for; flexibility, experimentation, disruption or subversion?
  • What is the relationship between undergraduate and postgraduate study in the contemporary context?

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list - but rather an indication of the areas we are keen to consider. If you have an idea for a paper not covered by the above please feel free to submit the proposal, or alternatively contact: Jill Journeaux at


Proposals for papers should be no more than 500 words and should include your title, email address and institution, along with the title of the proposed paper or workshop.