Artist-Teachers in Adult Community Learning: Invite to Participate in Interviews

Posted: 17th September 2021

Location: Town Centre

Closing: 31st March 2022

More information

My name is Abbie Cairns. I am a post-graduate research student at Norwich University of
the Arts, under the supervision of Professor Simon Willmoth, Dr Mark Wilsher and Dr Sarah

I am currently completing my PhD: Interrogating Artist-Teacher identity formation in Adult
Community Learning.

The project will research the role of artist-teacher in Adult Community Learning (ACL),
including how this differs in other learning contexts. Previous research encompasses
traditional FE, HE and secondary teaching. While this research goes someway to define the
role, it neglects specific characteristics of the ACL sector.

The project will use primary research to analyse the artist-teacher in ACL and how this
knowledge can develop the role and sector. The research is influenced by my own
professional journey as an artist and teacher.

Invitation to Participate in Research
As part of my research, I am seeking participants who are artist and teachers who teach or
have previous taught in Adult Community Learning.
My intention is to conduct online interviews which will cover specific themes related to this
research, including, professional identity and professional development.
Participation in the study will require you to complete an online interview. The interview will
be held online over Microsoft Teams and will last approximately one hour. The interview will
take place in two sections, the first section will be semi-structured and the second will use
narrative storytelling techniques to document your professional career. Before the interview
you will be provided with a list of topics which might come up in the interview.
Data collected with be anonymised in any published papers. Participation is voluntary.

Adult Community Learning
ACL includes “community based and outreach learning opportunities...delivered by local
authorities and general further education colleges” (Department for Education, 2019).
Courses are often short, unaccredited and aimed at demographics including the retired and
unemployed. Research is timely, with recent changes to Ofsted’s Excellence Inspection
Framework, which outlines expectations on curriculum intent, implementation, impact in
relation to teaching, learning and assessment and the move to online teaching and learning
due to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Within my research the term artist-teacher takes its definition from Thornton (2012), “…as
individuals committed to personal practice as art makers and art teachers”, with equal
weighting on both practices (Daichendt, 2010). The research will compare teaching in ACL
to other sectors. The role will be re-defined and questioned through pre-existing frameworks
artist-teachers in ACL work within, including the UK Professional Standards. The research
will interrogate the role qualifications and continued professional development play in identity
formation of artist-teachers in ACL.

Research Aim
My research aim is to analyse the role of the artist-teacher within ACL contexts and
determine how this contributes to learning and teaching within ACL.

Research Benefits
The benefits of this research are that the findings will add to the field of knowledge around
artist-teacher by extending research into the ACL sector, as current research is focused on
secondary, FE, and HE contexts. Research could impact current and future individuals
working in the field, in improved support in identity formation and opportunities that benefit
both roles.

You are in no way obligated to participate in this study. If you do participate you do not have
to answers any questions that you do not want to answer, without having to give any reason

Contact Details
If you would like to participate or would like more information on the study, please contact
me directly [] or the research department at Norwich
University of the Arts [].
Contact Details
If you would like to participate or would like more information on the study, please contact me directly [] or the research department at Norwich University of the Arts []. 

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