Sculpture trails offer learning opportunities and foster engagement with contemporary art although we know little about how this happens in practice. In the second half of the twentieth century the UK has seen a whole hearted civic embrace of public art through regeneration projects and other agencies. Three dimensional work on open display is accessible to all, not just to those people who are at ease in galleries. Meanwhile, curriculum time for creative subjects has been under great pressure. Research has shown the scarcity of primary teachers with specialist training in the visual arts. Sculpture trails promise ‘Education Outside the Classroom’ but many teachers express a lack of confidence when dealing with contemporary art. How do young people learn to engage with the works they will encounter in their communities?
A University of Warwick research team has compiled a directory of sculpture trails in England. We investigated primary schools’ experience of visiting a sculpture trail, focusing on the learning and development of pupils, teachers, and visual arts professionals. What do such visits offer young pupils? What do they offer teachers? How can a sculpture trail best exploit the learning opportunities? This research is also located against developing concepts of gallery education. Funded by Arts Council England, the project uses case studies of established sculpture collections catering for school groups and in-depth studies of Midlands schools which visited the University of Warwick’s Sculpture Trail in 2007. This article concentrates on the immediate responses of young children to modern sculpture in open settings.
|Keywords:||Sculpture Trails, Children and Sculpture|
Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Curator, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Freelance researcher, University of Warwick, Kenilworth, UK
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review