Creative careers are responding rapidly to new creative practices, new audiences, emerging digital platforms and technologies. These careers are well paid, resistant to automation and permeate all aspects of society. Yet students’ and teachers’ perceptions and attitudes are not in alignment with the reality of a job in Australia’s Creative Industries. Research exploring the perceptions of a creative career in high schools showed there was a significant disconnect between perceived jobs and actual jobs, impacting on student aspirations to work in the creative industries. Current narratives in schools need to shift beyond an outdated idea of traditional “Arts” towards the realities of a contemporary creative workforce which combines digital, entrepreneurial and creative skills. A mixed method Australian state case study, was conducted in regional school communities, collecting data from across creative classroom practice, surveys and interviews. The findings point to a limited understanding of creative careers held by specialist teachers, careers advisors and students. This resulted in severely limited advice being provided to high school students in terms of choices of secondary curriculum and educational pathways for a creative career.
This article focuses on New South Wales (NSW) regional secondary teachers' perceptions of Creative Industries as a higher education vocation pathway for students. The Creative Industries Roadshow sought to help students and teachers reimagine regional and remote career opportunities and study pathways into Creative Industries higher education. Creative Industries, a significant curriculum reform in Higher Education in 2011, shifted the focus from traditional fine art and design curriculum to creative practice as enterprise and the role of creatives in building the economy (Australian Government, 2011). The article draws on the empirical evidence gathered during the implementation of the Creative Industries Careers: Re-imagining Regional and Remote Students' Opportunities roadshow for secondary students (Grushka, et al, 2018b). The Creative Industries Roadshow was funded by the Australian Department of Education, Higher Education Participation Partnerships Program (HEPPP). It was instituted in order to encourage students to consider Creative Industries university study pathways and the value of a creative digital technology skill to being work ready. This qualitative study reports on secondary school teachers' attitudes to the increasing characterisation of creatives as entrepreneurs and the need to provide all students with appropriate soft skills. It draws on a teacher survey and teacher video interviews supported by the fieldnotes of the researchers. It identifies the challenges facing a regional university trying to maintain fine arts skills within a Creative Industries program and how secondary visual arts educators and regional communities identify with the elevation of the role of Creative Industries skills to meet future workforce needs.
Abstract: Visual Education is emerging as a field of education driven by changing practice, contemporary society and technology. It recognises that today’s students have an increasing need to be visually proficient within an understanding of aesthetic, artistic and cultural concepts, in order to effectively express themselves and communicate in the contemporary world. Visual Education essentially extends and repositions visual arts and design education with other traditional and emerging disciplines that are unified by the primacy of the visual. Since the educational field is emergent, the nature of Visual Education is powerfully revealed by attending to the practices, thoughts and ideas of those working in the area. In Australia, the team of researchers who conceived of Visual Education have assembled a suite of case studies that are based on classroom observations of pedagogical practices that were conducted across the country. In this paper, the concept of Visual Education is further developed and elucidated through case studies that reveal pedagogical practices used by exemplary visual educators who are committed to visually educating students across all years of compulsory schooling. Keywords: Visual Arts and Design, Visual Education, The Arts in Education, Pedagogical Practices in Arts Education, Learning in Visual Arts and Design, Classroom Practices in Visual Arts and Design, Contemporary Education Challenges