Independence as an Ableist Fiction in Art Education

Penketh, Claire (2017) Independence as an Ableist Fiction in Art Education. Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 37 (1). pp. 61-71. ISSN 1057-0292

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Drawing on crip theory this paper examines normative assumptions regarding a prioritisation of independence in texts defining quality in art education in England. The first part of the project explores the dominance of independence established in assessment criteria and re-told via multi-modal representations of ideal learners in two triennial reports on the quality of art education in England (Ofsted, 2009, p.2012). These aspirations for independence are then contrasted with descriptions of dependence in sections of the same documents relating to learners with so-called special educational needs. I argue that independence, created as a normative fiction, renders disabled children and young people as hypervisible via descriptions of their dependency. The purpose of this paper is therefore to highlight and problematize the emphasis on independence in such discourses relating to art education and to question this as a form of ableism that makes dependent body/minds visible and excessive to our cultural and educational imagination (Mitchell et al., 2014). The paper concludes by promoting interdependence as a challenge to the binary distinctions between dependence and independence through a greater recognition of reciprocity and collaboration in arts practice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ableism, independence, disability studies
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Claire Penketh
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 16:26
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 16:21

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