The Visual Arts Curriculum Review—and the Shape of Things to Come!

Things to Come, via YouTube

The Shape of Things to Come is a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells, published in 1933, which speculates on future events from 1933 until the year 2106. In the book, a world state is established as the solution to humanity’s problems. (Wikipedia)


Actually, ‘the shape of things to come’ – in the context of this blog – is more specifically related to the ‘shape’ of the next visual arts course: the aims, structure and assessment processes in the 2022 iteration of the programme – after all, it is now 2018 and in four short years we—you visual arts teachers—will be teaching a new version of the visual arts course.

The projected date for the publication of the next version of the course is 2022.

‘What?’ you cry, ‘so soon? I am still getting to grips with the current course!’


Review Process

Time and tide wait for no art teacher, and although it may seem early to be considering visual arts 2022, it makes sense to not leave things to the last minute.

The review process follows a logical three phase process

1. Evaluation

2. Development

3. Implementation


I think the changes that were made to the previous course were good, needed and productive, and my overall feeling is that the current Visual arts course does not require significant change to the focus, structure and alignment of its curriculum and assessment.

This is not to say that there should be no changes.

Discussion Items/Issues?

I would like to at least discuss issues such as

  • The structure of the programme; currently we have three separate components and a 20/40/40 weighting. Should we keep this or not? If not, what would be the best structure?
  • The place of sound in art and in the DP visual arts course (and how would we assess that?)
  • Student workload (we seem to be asking more of our students). All my students say that visual arts is their most ‘time-intensive course’
  • Student collaboration in art (currently not recommended due to assessment issues, but certainly an issue)
  • The purpose of our course—are we training artists? Preparing students for life? Preparing them for the next stage in their education?
  • The place, impact, and role of art history. It’s a huge resource, full of wonderful potential to inspire – but how do we meaningfully integrate the history of art into the new programme?
  • Do we want the exhibition to continue to be a real, physical event? (as opposed to a virtual event)
  • Do we want Conceptual Qualities (or whatever this becomes) to more directly relate to current conceptual art ideas?

There are of course many other questions, and ultimately I expect that there will be alterations in the overall curriculum and assessment structures based on all the meetings and discussion that will occur between now and 2020.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to participate in and contribute to some of these meetings and discussions!