The research bit …

This page is for anyone interested in why and how we are doing the research …..

Current research exploring the impact of arts education often lacks engagement with disabled children; it fails to explore directly, or, indeed, to reference or to differentiate, how the learning of disabled children might differ from that of non-disabled peers in the context of arts education (For examples see: Atkinson and Robson, 2012; Carnwath and Brown, 2014; Collins and Ogier, 2012; Cooper et al., 2011). Traditional ‘success measures’ for understanding the impact of arts practice on learning inevitably exclude the experience of children with complex impairments who may work below National Curriculum standards, and who may a limited capacity for expressing complex reasoning. Overwhelmingly, the research methods developed and used for these studies are designed with children in mind for whom communication is both ‘normative’ and ‘verbal’ and so exclude children with complex impairments from the research.

This project will allow us to begin to address the indirect discrimination existing in literature focused on the impact of the arts on learning and practice that intrinsically excludes disabled children. Through a collaboration with Purple Patch Arts as part of their arts education work in schools, the project will enable us to build collective knowledge and deepen understanding of the impact of arts practice on learning; it will allow us to employ a different methodology so that the theoretical frameworks, through which impact on education is conceptualised, can be expanded to include disabled children alongside their non-disabled peers.

During 2016 Purple Patch Arts will be undertaking a pilot phase of a new ‘Creative Curriculum’ model through which they will develop new arts education approaches for children with complex disabilities. They will work with 80 children across 4 schools within Yorkshire both delivering interactive workshops and undertaking evaluation with children and teachers on the effectiveness of the approach (funded by Bradford Council (£3333) and the Golden Bottle and Bulldog Trust (£5800).

This pilot offers a unique opportunity for fieldwork which can explore appropriate criteria and methodogical approaches to be used within academic discourse.


(a) To explore the usefulness of current evaluative criteria and models that measure impact and outcomes in arts education;

(b) To consider whether there are more useful ways of thinking about and establishing ‘value’ and outcomes in relation to participatory arts projects with children and young people with learning disabilities;

(c) To explore ways of capturing and assessing the effect of participating in creative activity upon learning and creativity for children and young people.

(d) To explore the impact of creative activities upon children and young people with learning disabilities as well as upon both arts practitioners and carers;

(e) To share new learning and knowledge in the field of arts education.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: