“The entire object of true Education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things, not merely industrious, but to love industry, not merely learned, but to love knowledge, not merely pure, but to love purity, not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.”
― John Ruskin, Unto This Last and Other Writings
When I started teaching in 2009, I was under the misguided impression that universities shared the same values to when I graduated. Then, as time went by all these questions started to come up based on my observations of what was really happening:
Why have we halved contact time to under 17 hours a week and are we calling full time courses what used to be a part time courses?
Why does the management never ask teaching staff how students are doing and why are they only concerned with recruitment and retention?
Why are the studios so badly lit? Why don’t we have any equipment?
Why is there no drawing being practiced in Higher education Art & Design degrees, or even discouraged?
Why are we not collaborating with industry to create genuine apprenticeships not only in name but in content as well?
Why are we selling off buildings to estate agents or competitors that where bequeathed to us by individuals or collectives?
Why are we penny wise and pound foolish in our spending?
Why am I supporting an institution that does the opposite of what it promises to do?
You get the picture.
Then it dawned on me, that we can make a difference. That we can create a New Art School that combines the best elements of the past with the latest discoveries in teaching and learning. That we can tell the truth about Education to our children by building a structure that is based on respect, transparency and accountability.
I invite you all to join me, as we can only build this together.
This is the approximate transcript of a short presentation delivered in #ARTCONNECTS : ‘CREATIVE SCHOOLS’ DAY OF TALKS organised by the Steam Co team and Nick Corston on Saturday 24th of February 2018