Background Paper and Brief for the Review of Junior Cycle Art, Craft, Design

Background Paper and Brief for the Review of Junior Cycle Art, Craft, Design
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
              	
  


                                                                                                  	
  
	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  


	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  the	
  Review	
  of	
  
Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  


                                                                                                June	
  2015	
  
                                                                                                           1	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


	
  

	
  

	
  




                                                                                                March	
  2015	
  2	
  	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  




Contents	
  
1.	
  Introduction	
                                                                              4	
  

2.	
  Background	
                                                                                5	
  

       The	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  Syllabus	
                     5	
  

       The	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Examination	
                                              7	
  

       The	
  Rebalanced	
  Syllabus	
                                                            8	
  

       Leaving	
  Certificate	
  Art	
                                                          10	
  

       Art	
  in	
  the	
  Primary	
  Curriculum	
                                              13	
  

       Aistear:	
  The	
  Early	
  Childhood	
  Curriculum	
  Framework	
                       17	
  

       LCA	
  and	
  Art	
                                                                      19	
  

3.	
  Other	
  developments	
  impacting	
  the	
  new	
  specification	
                       21	
  

       Arts	
  in	
  Education	
  Charter	
                                                     21	
  

       Artistic	
  Performance	
  Short	
  Course	
                                             23	
  

       Portfolios	
                                                                             25	
  

       Design	
  and	
  Communications	
  Graphics	
                                            27	
  

       National	
  Strategy	
  for	
  Sustainable	
  Development	
                              28	
  

4.	
  Student	
  Voice	
                                                                        31	
  

5.	
  Art	
  specification	
  in	
  the	
  new	
  junior	
  cycle	
                             34	
  

6.	
  Brief	
  for	
  the	
  review	
  of	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
      36	
  

7.	
  The	
  International	
  Review:	
  Summary	
                                              39	
  

8.	
  Issues	
  for	
  Consultation	
                                                           41	
  

Appendix	
  1	
                                                                                 42	
  

Bibliography	
                                                                                  63	
  

	
  

	
  




                                                                                                  3	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  




1.	
  Introduction	
  
A	
   revised	
   subject	
   specification	
   in	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design	
   will	
   be	
   introduced	
   for	
   students	
   commencing	
  
junior	
   cycle	
   in	
   September	
   2017	
   as	
   part	
   of	
   the	
   new	
   junior	
   cycle.	
   The	
   specification	
   will	
   be	
   published	
   in	
  
the	
  autumn	
  of	
  2016.	
  This	
  paper	
  provides	
  a	
  background	
  for	
  the	
  development	
  of	
  the	
  specification	
  for	
  
Junior	
   Cycle	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design.	
   It	
   presents	
   a	
   brief	
   overview	
   of	
   the	
   establishment	
   of	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design	
  
as	
   a	
   school	
   subject	
   and	
   the	
   developments	
   that	
   led	
   to	
   the	
   introduction	
   of	
   the	
   current	
   Junior	
  
Certificate	
  syllabus	
  in	
  1989.	
  

The	
  paper	
  explores	
  the	
  establishment	
  and	
  further	
  development	
  of	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  as	
  a	
  subject,	
  as	
  
well	
  as	
  the	
  students’	
  experience	
  of	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design.	
  The	
  purposes	
  of	
  an	
  education	
  
in	
   art	
   for	
   the	
   21st	
   century	
   are	
   discussed,	
   as	
   are	
   the	
   current	
   developments	
   in	
   art	
   curricula	
   in	
   other	
  
countries.	
   The	
   outcomes	
   of	
   engagement	
   with	
   students	
   on	
   their	
   experiences	
   of	
   learning	
   in	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
  
Design	
   and	
   their	
   perspectives	
   on	
   a	
   new	
   course	
   from	
   the	
   Student	
   Voice	
   initiative	
   also	
   form	
   part	
   of	
  
this	
   paper.	
   Finally,	
   this	
   paper	
   sets	
   out	
   a	
   proposed	
   brief	
   for	
   the	
   development	
   of	
   the	
   new	
   Junior	
   Cycle	
  
Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  specification.	
  

Appendix	
   1	
   presents	
   material	
   related	
   to	
   art	
   curricula	
   in	
   other	
   countries,	
   which	
   provides	
   a	
   context	
  
through	
  which	
  the	
  development	
  of	
  the	
  specification	
  can	
  be	
  considered.	
  	
  

	
  

	
   	
  




                                                                                                                                                                          4	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  




2.	
  Background	
  
In	
   the	
   years	
   prior	
   to	
   1989	
   Junior	
   Cycle	
   art	
   education	
   was	
   largely	
   built	
   around	
   the	
   Intermediate	
  
Certificate	
   Art	
   syllabus	
   and	
   as	
   such	
   was	
   closely	
   aligned	
   to	
   the	
   structure	
   of	
   the	
   Leaving	
   Certificate	
   Art	
  
syllabus.	
  

                The	
   Intermediate	
   Certificate	
   listed	
   very	
   broad	
   areas,	
   which	
   were	
   to	
   include	
  
                "...representational	
   work,	
   imaginative	
   composition,	
   design	
   and	
   craft,	
   and	
  
                appreciation."	
  (DES,	
  1983,	
  p.132)	
  

It	
  was	
  set	
  out	
  as	
  a	
  three-­‐year	
  course	
  of	
  study	
  with	
  the	
  final	
  set	
  of	
  terminal	
  examinations	
  consisting	
  of	
  
five	
  papers	
  from	
  which	
  students	
  chose	
  three.	
  

The	
  choices	
  were:	
  

       1. Imaginative	
  Composition	
  

       2. Design	
  or	
  Craftwork	
  

       3. Still	
  Life	
  or	
  Life	
  Sketching	
  

	
  


The	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  Syllabus	
   	
  
The	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  syllabus	
  was	
  introduced	
  in	
  1989	
  and	
  examined	
  for	
  the	
  first	
  
time	
   in	
   1992.	
   It	
   introduced	
   a	
   real-­‐world,	
   practical	
   and	
   hands-­‐on	
   approach	
   which	
   set	
   it	
   apart	
   from	
   its	
  
predecessor.	
  This	
  also	
  represented	
  a	
  break	
  in	
  the	
  previous	
  alignment	
  with	
  Leaving	
  Certificate	
  Art	
  and	
  
in	
   the	
   absence	
   of	
   a	
   revised	
   Leaving	
   Certificate	
   syllabus,	
   has	
   led	
   to	
   something	
   of	
   a	
   discontinuity	
  
between	
   the	
   junior	
   and	
   senior	
   cycle	
   art	
   education	
   experience	
   for	
   students.	
   The	
   recently	
   proposed	
  
changes	
  to	
  Leaving	
  Certificate	
  assessment	
  arrangements	
  may	
  go	
  some	
  way	
  to	
  addressing	
  this.	
  

	
  

The	
   Junior	
   Certificate	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design	
   syllabus	
   contains	
   a	
   practical	
   core	
   syllabus	
   which	
   involves	
  
"Drawing,	
   two-­‐dimensional	
   Art,	
   Craft	
   and	
   Design:	
   three-­‐dimensional	
   Art,	
   Craft	
   and	
   Design,	
   with	
  
Support	
   Studies,	
   [and]	
   is	
   augmented	
   by	
   a	
   wide	
   range	
   of	
   options."	
   (DES,	
   1989,	
   p.	
   2).	
   This	
   can	
   be	
  
viewed	
  in	
  the	
  diagram	
  below.	
  




                                                                                                                                                                         5	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


§     Drawing	
   is	
   a	
   foundational	
   skill	
   to	
   be	
   used	
   within	
   all	
   disciplines.	
   A	
   student	
   does	
   not	
   simply	
  
       experience	
  drawing	
  but	
  also	
  learns	
  to	
  use	
  it	
  to	
  observe,	
  analyse	
  and	
  record.	
  	
  

§     Two-­‐Dimensional	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  involves	
  the	
  student	
  realising	
  their	
  ideas	
  through	
  painting,	
  
       printmaking,	
   basic	
   photography	
   and	
   graphic	
   design.	
   Here	
   a	
   student	
   experiences	
   image	
   making	
  
       and	
   manipulation,	
   and	
   development	
   as	
   well	
   as	
   learning	
   to	
   develop	
   lettering	
   and	
   combine	
   this	
  
       with	
  their	
  images.	
  	
  

§     Three-­‐Dimensional	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design	
   involves	
   modelling/casting,	
   carving,	
   construction	
   or	
   a	
  
       combination	
   of	
   these	
   skills.	
   Students	
   learn	
   approaches	
   to	
   three-­‐dimensional	
   work	
   that	
   involve	
  
       additive,	
   subtractive	
   and	
   constructional	
   methods.	
   The	
   experiences	
   gained	
   by	
   a	
   student	
   in	
   this	
  
       core	
  syllabus	
  work	
  is	
  further	
  reinforced	
  and	
  developed	
  in	
  their	
  treatment	
  of	
  their	
  chosen	
  three-­‐
       dimensional	
  work.	
  

§     Option/s.	
   The	
   available	
   options	
   range	
   from	
   animation	
   and	
   calligraphy	
   through	
   mixed	
   media	
   and	
  
       packaging	
  to	
  tapestry	
  and	
  weaving.	
  




                                                                                                                                	
  

As	
  an	
  integral	
  part	
  of	
  their	
  learning	
  in	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design,	
  the	
  student	
  also	
  experiences	
  the	
  Art	
  and	
  
Design	
   Elements	
   of	
   dot,	
   colour,	
   line,	
   shape,	
   pattern,	
   balance,	
   harmony,	
   proportion,	
   texture,	
   etc.	
  
Support	
   Studies	
   introduce	
   the	
   student	
   to	
   not	
   only	
   the	
   history	
   and	
   appreciation	
   of	
   art,	
   craft	
   and	
  
design,	
  but	
  also	
  create	
  the	
  opportunity	
  for	
  the	
  development	
  of	
  their	
  critical	
  appraisal	
  and	
  evaluation	
  
skills.	
   Specific	
   disciplines	
   also	
   enable	
   students	
   to	
   increase	
   both	
   their	
   vocabulary	
   and	
   at	
   times	
  
mathematical	
  and	
  technological	
  skills	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  to	
  build	
  new	
  skillsets	
  while	
  understanding	
  the	
  need	
  
for	
  safety.	
  

	
  




                                                                                                                                                                6	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


In	
   addition	
   to	
   the	
   core	
   syllabus	
   a	
   minimum	
   of	
   one	
   option	
   for	
   Ordinary	
   Level,	
   and	
   two	
   for	
   Higher	
  
Level	
  students,	
  were	
  originally	
  studied.	
  The	
  treatment	
  of	
  each	
  option	
  should	
  reinforce	
  and	
  develop	
  
the	
  core	
  experiences.	
  	
  

	
  

The	
   most	
   obvious,	
   immediate	
   difference	
   between	
   the	
   Intermediate	
   Certificate	
   and	
   the	
   Junior	
  
Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  syllabus	
  was	
  the	
  introduction	
  of	
  Higher	
  and	
  Ordinary	
  levels	
  in	
  place	
  of	
  
the	
  single,	
  common	
  level.	
  While	
  the	
  core	
  syllabus	
  is	
  the	
  same	
  for	
  both	
  levels,	
  the	
  main	
  difference	
  for	
  
students	
  is	
  in	
  the	
  larger	
  quantity	
  and	
  higher	
  quality	
  of	
  work	
  expected	
  from	
  students	
  at	
  Higher	
  Level.	
  

	
  


The	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Examination	
  
From	
  the	
  outset	
  the	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  examination	
  looked	
  for	
  more	
  output	
  from	
  students	
  who	
  chose	
  
Higher	
  Level.	
  As	
  well	
  as	
  an	
  additional	
  option,	
  students	
  attempting	
  Higher	
  Level	
  also	
  had	
  to	
  complete	
  
all	
   necessary	
   components	
   around	
   both	
   a	
   completed	
   2-­‐D	
   Painting	
   piece	
   and	
   a	
   2-­‐D	
   Graphic	
   Design	
  
piece.	
  

	
  

Seventy	
  five	
  percent	
  of	
  the	
  overall	
  marks	
  available	
  in	
  the	
  examination	
  of	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  
Design	
  are	
  awarded	
  for	
  the	
  work	
  of	
  the	
  student	
  in	
  their	
  Art	
  Project,	
  which	
  runs	
  from	
  the	
  beginning	
  
of	
  October	
  until	
  the	
  end	
  of	
  April	
  of	
  year	
  three,	
  effectively	
  almost	
  the	
  whole	
  of	
  third	
  year.	
  A	
  selection	
  
of	
  themes	
  or	
  Starting	
  Points	
  from	
  which	
  students	
  choose	
  one,	
  form	
  part	
  of	
  this	
  long	
  project.	
  	
  

	
  

The	
  remaining	
  25%	
  is	
  allocated	
  to	
  a	
  drawing	
  examination	
  held	
  shortly	
  after	
  the	
  project	
  ends.	
  The	
  list	
  
of	
   objects	
   which	
   form	
   the	
   basis	
   of	
   the	
   drawing	
   exam	
   is	
   made	
   available	
   to	
   students	
   approximately	
  
two	
  weeks	
  before	
  the	
  examination	
  takes	
  place.	
  This	
  examination	
  requires	
  students	
  to	
  draw	
  from	
  the	
  
human	
  form	
  (1.5	
  hours	
  in	
  duration)	
  and	
  either	
  a	
  drawing	
  of	
  a	
  natural	
  object	
  or	
  a	
  man-­‐made	
  object	
  (1	
  
hour	
  in	
  duration).	
  

	
  

The	
  Chief	
  Examiner,	
  in	
  a	
  2000	
  report	
  on	
  the	
  examination	
  in	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  noted,	
  in	
  the	
  general	
  
observations	
  section,	
  that	
  

       §    The	
  workload	
  for	
  Higher	
  Level	
  candidates	
  is	
  too	
  much	
  and	
  too	
  repetitive.	
  



                                                                                                                                                                    7	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


       §    There	
   should	
   be	
   a	
   choice	
   (at	
   Higher	
   Level)	
   between	
   Graphic	
   Design	
   and	
   Painting	
   as	
   at	
  
             Ordinary	
  Level.	
  

       §    The	
   standard	
   of	
   work	
   is	
   suffering	
   because	
   of	
   candidates	
   rushing	
   to	
   get	
   all	
   the	
   work	
  
             completed.	
  This	
  is	
  diminishing	
  the	
  level	
  of	
  enjoyment	
  and	
  satisfaction	
  associated	
  with	
  doing	
  
             creative	
  work.	
  In	
  addition,	
  it	
  makes	
  the	
  subject	
  less	
  popular	
  with	
  students.	
  

                                                                   (DES,	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Examination	
  2000,	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design)	
  

	
  

The	
   workload	
   is	
   demanding	
   of	
   students’	
   time	
   and	
   the	
   high	
   quality	
   expected	
   of	
   the	
   pieces	
   being	
  
submitted	
   for	
   assessment	
   is	
   equally	
   demanding,	
   especially	
   for	
   students	
   undertaking	
   Higher	
   Level.	
   	
   It	
  
has	
  been	
  frequently	
  suggested	
  that	
  the	
  heavy	
  workload	
  is	
  affecting	
  in	
  negative	
  ways	
  the	
  take-­‐up	
  of	
  
the	
   subject	
   at	
   Leaving	
   Certificate.	
   	
   This	
   workload	
   was	
   revised	
   and	
   reduced	
   for	
   the	
   2007	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
  
Design	
  project	
  and	
  for	
  all	
  subsequent	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  examinations.	
  

	
  


The	
  Rebalanced	
  Syllabus	
  
Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design,	
  was	
  one	
  of	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  subjects	
  which	
  underwent	
  rebalancing	
  
in	
   2008.	
   The	
   aim	
   of	
   the	
   rebalancing	
   was	
   to	
   reduce	
   the	
   overload	
   and	
   unnecessary	
   overlap	
   and	
   to	
  
remove	
   obsolete	
   material.	
   The	
   consultation	
   associated	
   with	
   the	
   rebalanced	
   syllabus	
   generated	
   a	
  
large	
  online	
  response	
  and	
  the	
  reports	
  arising	
  from	
  the	
  various	
  elements	
  of	
  the	
  consultation	
  can	
  be	
  
found	
  at	
  

http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Post-­‐
Primary_Education/Junior_Cycle/Syllabus_change/Art,_Craft,_Design/Art,_Craft,_Design.html	
  	
  

	
  

The	
   draft	
   rebalanced	
   syllabus	
   set	
   out	
   five	
   principal	
   components	
   that	
   would	
   make	
   up	
   Junior	
  
Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design.	
  These	
  were:	
  

       §    Appreciation	
  of	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design,	
  and	
  the	
  Built	
  Environment	
  

       §    Drawing	
  

       §    2-­‐D	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  

       §    3-­‐D	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  



                                                                                                                                                                    8	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


       §    Craft	
  




                                                                                                                          	
  

These	
  would	
  form	
  the	
  basis	
  of	
  both	
  the	
  learning	
  experience	
  and	
  the	
  summative	
  assessment	
  at	
  the	
  
end	
  of	
  third	
  year	
  for	
  students.	
  The	
  year-­‐long	
  project	
  in	
  third	
  year,	
  based	
  on	
  the	
  revised	
   workload	
  for	
  
2007,	
  would	
  remain,	
  as	
  would	
  the	
  terminal	
  drawing	
  examination.	
  

	
  

The	
  Support	
  Studies	
  section	
  of	
  the	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  examination	
  project	
  had	
  been	
  
viewed	
  almost	
  as	
  a	
  last	
  minute	
  add-­‐on	
  by	
  students.	
  The	
  Chief	
  Examiner's	
  Report	
  of	
  2007	
  concluded	
  
that	
   “Candidates	
   in	
   some	
   centres	
   failed	
   to	
   grasp	
   the	
   concept	
   of	
   Support	
   Studies	
   and	
   lost	
   the	
  
opportunity	
  to	
  make	
  it	
  an	
  essential	
  and	
  integrated	
  aspect	
  of	
  the	
  project”.	
  (SEC,	
  Higher	
  Level,	
  Chief	
  
Examiner’s	
  Report,	
  2007,	
  p.	
  19)	
  

	
  

This	
  led	
  the	
  Chief	
  Examiner	
  to	
  recommend:	
  

                Students’	
  work	
  should	
  be	
  regularly	
  assessed.	
  Monthly	
  reviews	
  of	
  work-­‐in-­‐progress	
  
                will	
   help	
   ensure	
   that	
   essential	
   requirements,	
   such	
   as	
   Support	
   Studies,	
   are	
   not	
  
                overlooked.	
  Good	
  planning	
  and	
  ongoing	
  student	
  self-­‐review	
  should	
  be	
  encouraged	
  
                so	
   that	
   all	
   components	
   of	
   the	
   project	
   are	
   afforded	
   an	
   adequate	
   amount	
   of	
   time	
  
                (SEC,	
  Ordinary	
  Level,	
  Chief	
  Examiner’s	
  Report,	
  2007,	
  p.12,	
  Higher	
  Level,	
  p.	
  20)	
  

	
  

With	
   the	
   introduction	
   of	
   Appreciation	
   of	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design,	
   and	
   the	
   built	
   environment,	
   "it	
   is	
  
envisaged	
  that	
  the	
  appreciation	
  of	
  art,	
  craft,	
  design	
  will	
  be	
  given	
  significant	
  attention	
  throughout	
  the	
  
three	
  years...by	
  being	
  integrated	
  into	
  teaching	
  and	
  learning,	
  and	
  systematically	
  developed	
  in	
  tandem	
  
with	
   particular	
   art	
   skills	
   in	
   2-­‐D,	
   3-­‐D	
   and	
   design.	
   The	
   aim	
   of	
   the	
   appreciation	
   component	
   is	
   to	
   lay	
  
down	
  the	
  foundations	
  of	
  a	
  life-­‐skill	
  for	
  students."	
  (NCCA,	
  2008,	
  p.	
  7).	
  	
  


                                                                                                                                                                          9	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


The	
  approach	
  to	
  this	
  area	
  of	
  art	
  is	
  also	
  reflected	
  in	
  a	
  review	
  of	
  the	
  Primary	
  Curriculum	
  where	
  one	
  
teacher	
   is	
   quoted	
   as	
   saying	
   that	
   "I	
   still	
   tend	
   to	
   think	
   of	
   art	
   as	
   making	
   art	
   and	
   the	
   children	
   tend	
   to	
  
think	
   of	
   it	
   as	
   making	
   Art	
   and	
   they	
   do	
   not	
   think	
   they	
   have	
   done	
   Art	
   if	
   they	
   are	
   just	
   looking	
   at	
  
something	
   and	
   talking	
   about	
   it."	
   (NCCA,	
   2005,	
   p.	
   156).	
   In	
   the	
   review	
   over	
   10%	
   of	
   respondents	
   noted	
  
the	
  challenge	
  of	
  encouraging	
  children	
  to	
  appreciate	
  art	
  [and]...	
  to	
  respond	
  to	
  their	
  own	
  works	
  and	
  
works	
   of	
   their	
   classmates.	
   They	
   noted	
   the	
   difficulty	
   of	
   balancing	
   opportunities	
   to	
   make	
   art	
   with	
  
opportunities	
  to	
  look	
  at	
  and	
  make	
  a	
  personal	
  response	
  to	
  art.	
  	
  

	
  

While	
   this	
   rebalanced	
   syllabus	
   reflected	
   on	
   the	
   connections	
   with	
   the	
   Visual	
   Arts	
   curriculum	
   in	
  
Primary	
   schools,	
   it	
   is	
   also	
   interesting	
   to	
   note	
   that	
   it	
   was	
   being	
   developed	
   at	
   the	
   same	
   time	
   as	
   the	
  
proposed	
   Leaving	
   Certificate	
   Art	
   syllabus.	
   As	
   such,	
   this	
   Junior	
   Cycle	
   rebalanced	
   syllabus	
   also	
   focused	
  
on	
  the	
  students	
  progression	
  to	
  a	
  new	
  senior	
  cycle	
  Art	
  syllabus	
  and	
  page	
  15	
  of	
  the	
  document	
  lays	
  out	
  
the	
   connections	
   between	
   the	
   rebalanced	
   Art,	
   Craft,	
   Design	
   syllabus	
   and	
   the	
   Units	
   that	
   form	
   the	
  
proposed	
  Leaving	
  Certificate	
  syllabus.	
  

	
  


Leaving	
  Certificate	
  Art	
  
The	
  current	
  Leaving	
  Certificate	
  Art	
  syllabus	
  has	
  been	
  in	
  existence	
  since	
  1971.	
  In	
  terms	
  of	
  its	
  structure	
  
and	
  curriculum	
  approach,	
  it	
  is	
  very	
  closely	
  related	
  to	
  the	
  pre-­‐1989	
  Intermediate	
  Certificate	
  syllabus	
  
mentioned	
  earlier	
  and	
  indeed	
  it	
  states:	
  

                 The	
   course	
   [Art	
   (Including	
   Crafts)]	
   should	
   be	
   as	
   broadly	
   based	
   as	
   that	
   for	
   the	
  
                 Intermediate	
   Certificate.	
   It	
   is	
   important	
   that	
   a	
   sense	
   of	
   unity	
   should	
   be	
  
                 maintained	
   throughout	
   the	
   different	
   sections	
   of	
   the	
   syllabus	
   in	
   order	
   to	
   avoid	
   a	
  
                 system	
  of	
  isolated	
  lessons.	
  (DES,	
  1983/4,	
  p.	
  312)	
  

	
  

It	
  goes	
  on	
  to	
  suggest	
  the	
  following	
  outline	
  of:	
  

       §     Observational	
  Studies	
  

       §     Imaginative	
  Composition	
  and	
  Still	
  Life	
  

       §     Design	
  and	
  Craftwork	
  




                                                                                                                                                                                   10	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


As	
  part	
  of	
  the	
  Design	
  and	
  Craftwork	
  section,	
  "the	
  History	
  and	
  Appreciation	
  of	
  Art	
  are	
  included	
  ...	
  to	
  
afford	
  pupils	
  an	
  opportunity	
  of	
  showing	
  awareness	
  of	
  the	
  place	
  of	
  the	
  visual	
  arts	
  in	
  our	
  culture	
  and	
  
community"	
  (DES,	
  1983/4,	
  p.	
  312).	
  

The	
  examination,	
  at	
  the	
  end	
  of	
  the	
  two	
  years	
  of	
  study,	
  requires	
  responses	
  to	
  four	
  papers:	
  

       1. Imaginative	
  Composition	
  or	
  Still	
  Life	
  

       2. Design	
  or	
  Craftwork	
  

       3. Life	
  Sketching	
  

       4. History	
  and	
  Appreciation	
  of	
  Art	
  

The	
  History	
  and	
  Appreciation	
  of	
  Art	
  covers	
  three	
  specific	
  fields	
  of	
  special	
  study,	
  which	
  are:	
  

       §    Section	
  1	
  -­‐	
  Art	
  in	
  Ireland	
  (from	
  Prehistoric	
  times	
  to	
  the	
  present)	
  

       §    Section	
  2	
  -­‐	
  European	
  Art	
  (from	
  1000	
  A.D.	
  to	
  the	
  present)	
  

       §    Section	
   3	
   -­‐	
   General	
   Appreciation	
   (topics	
   based	
   on	
   every-­‐day	
   visual	
   experience	
   in	
   the	
  
             student’s	
  own	
  environment)	
  

	
  

A	
   revised	
   Leaving	
   Certificate	
   syllabus	
   was	
   developed	
   between	
   2004	
   and	
   2008	
   but	
   has	
   not	
   been	
  
introduced.	
  	
  

The	
   revised	
   syllabus	
   sought	
   to	
   equip	
   students	
   with	
   a	
   “visual	
   language	
   that	
   enables	
   them	
   to	
  
communicate	
   knowledge,	
   emotions,	
   ideas	
   and	
   insights	
   in	
   a	
   visual	
   medium	
   and	
   to	
   understand	
   and	
  
engage	
  with	
  the	
  artistic	
  work	
  of	
  others.”	
  (NCCA,	
  2004,	
  p.	
  1)	
  and	
  describes	
  visual	
  language	
  as	
  having	
  
four	
  dimensions;	
  Creative,	
  Aesthetic,	
  Critical/Historical	
  and	
  Cultural.	
  

	
  

The	
  aims	
  of	
  the	
  revised	
  syllabus	
  include	
  giving	
  students	
  the	
  opportunity	
  to:	
  

       §    make	
   personal,	
   visual	
   and	
   tactile	
   responses	
   to	
   experiences,	
   emotions,	
   ideas	
   and	
  
             environments	
  

       §    develop	
  the	
  imaginative,	
  creative,	
  intellectual,	
  and	
  intuitive	
  powers	
  of	
  the	
  students	
  	
  

       §    support	
   and	
   develop	
   investigative,	
   analytical,	
   experimental	
   learning	
   behaviours,	
   technical	
  
             and	
   expressive	
   skills,	
   aesthetic	
   awareness	
   and	
   critical	
   judgement	
   through	
   participating	
  
             creatively	
  in	
  a	
  range	
  of	
  art,	
  craft	
  and	
  design	
  activities	
  and	
  the	
  history	
  and	
  appreciation	
  of	
  art	
  


                                                                                                                                                              11	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


       §        develop	
   the	
   student’s	
   capacity	
   to	
   enjoy,	
   value,	
   evaluate,	
   speak	
   and	
   write	
   about	
   visual	
   art	
  
                 and	
  design	
  and	
  to	
  articulate	
  ideas,	
  opinions	
  and	
  preferences	
  using	
  appropriate	
  vocabulary	
  

       §        promote	
  knowledge	
  and	
  develop	
  understanding	
  and	
  appreciation	
  of	
  the	
  achievements	
  and	
  
                 role	
  of	
  artists,	
  craftspeople,	
  designers	
  and	
  architects	
  in	
  the	
  past	
  and	
  in	
  contemporary	
  society	
  

       §        promote	
   understanding	
   of	
   the	
   role	
   of	
   art,	
   design,	
   architecture	
   and	
   craft	
   in	
   everyday	
   life,	
  
                 further	
  education,	
  training,	
  and	
  in	
  the	
  work	
  place.	
  

       §        have	
  an	
  awareness	
  of	
  relevant	
  health	
  and	
  safety	
  practices	
  in	
  all	
  aspects	
  of	
  the	
  syllabus	
  

                 (NCCA,	
  2004,	
  p.	
  2)	
  

	
  

The	
  syllabus,	
  although	
  divided	
  into	
  three	
  sections,	
  was	
  designed	
  as	
  a	
  cohesive	
  unit	
  and	
  as	
  such	
  all	
  of	
  
the	
  sections	
  should	
  be	
  viewed	
  as	
  interlinked	
  for	
  teaching	
  and	
  learning	
  purposes.	
  

Section	
  A:	
  Drawing	
  

            §     Unit	
  1:	
  Observational	
  Drawing.	
  

            §     Unit	
  2:	
  Life	
  Drawing.	
  

Section	
  B:	
  Studio	
  Work	
  

       §        Unit	
   3:	
   Craft:	
   Textiles,	
   Photography,	
   Woodcraft,	
   Ceramics,	
   Metal	
   craft,	
   Stage	
   Design,	
   Book	
  
                 craft,	
  Puppetry,	
  Printmaking,	
  Film/Video	
  Making	
  

       §        Unit	
  4:	
  Fine	
  Art:	
  Painting/Drawing,	
  Printmaking,	
  Sculpture,	
  or	
  a	
  combination.	
  

       §        Unit	
   5:	
   Visual	
   Communication:	
   Animation,	
   Design	
   for	
   Printing,	
   Multimedia,	
   Graphic	
  
                 application	
  in	
  2D	
  and	
  3D	
  

Section	
  C:	
  History	
  and	
  Appreciation	
  of	
  Art	
  and	
  Design	
  

       §        Unit	
  6:	
  History	
  and	
  Appreciation	
  of	
  Art	
  and	
  Design.	
  

	
  

The	
  use	
  of	
  ICT	
  was	
  viewed	
  not	
  only	
  as	
  a	
  tool	
  for	
  research,	
  but	
  also	
  as	
  a	
  way	
  of	
  creating,	
  exploring,	
  
experimenting	
   with	
   and	
   manipulating	
   both	
   still	
   and	
   moving	
   images.	
   It	
   was	
   also	
   seen	
   as	
   a	
   way	
   to	
  
reduce	
  the	
  costs	
  by	
  speeding	
  up	
  processes	
  and	
  reducing	
  the	
  requirements	
  for	
  resources.	
  The	
  revised	
  
Leaving	
   Certificate	
   syllabus	
   also	
   points	
   towards	
   the	
   use	
   of	
   ICT	
   was	
   in	
   "enabling	
   the	
   production	
   of	
  
electronic	
  generated	
  artefacts."	
  (NCCA,	
  2004,	
  p.	
  3)	
  


                                                                                                                                                               12	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


Assessment	
   was	
   to	
   be	
   aligned	
   with	
   the	
   aims	
   and	
   learning	
   outcomes	
   in	
   the	
   syllabus	
   and	
   the	
  
assessment	
  components	
  and	
  weightings	
  were	
  as	
  follows:	
  

         §     Section	
  A:	
  Drawing	
  examination	
  (25%)	
  

         §     Section	
  B:	
  Studio	
  work	
  (45%)	
  

         §     Section	
  C:	
  Written	
  examination	
  (30%)	
  

The	
  allocation	
  of	
  marks	
  in	
  assessing	
  studio	
  work	
  was	
  to	
  vary	
  slightly	
  between	
  Ordinary	
  and	
  Higher	
  
level.	
  

The	
  syllabus	
  was	
  designed	
  for	
  180	
  hours	
  of	
  class	
  contact	
  time	
  (the	
  equivalent	
  of	
  five	
  periods	
  of	
  40	
  
minutes	
   each	
   per	
   week),	
   with	
   double	
   classes	
   required	
   per	
   week	
   to	
   facilitate	
   studio	
   work.	
   This	
  
redeveloped	
  syllabus	
  built	
  on	
  the	
  work	
  and	
  design	
  of	
  the	
  rebalanced	
  Junior	
  Certificate	
  Syllabus	
  and	
  
by	
  reflecting	
  its	
  work,	
  methodologies	
  and	
  approaches,	
  established	
  continuity	
  of	
  student	
  learning	
  and	
  
experience	
  as	
  they	
  progressed	
  from	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  to	
  Senior	
  Cycle.	
  

	
  


Art	
  in	
  the	
  Primary	
  Curriculum	
  
                  Art	
   is	
   a	
   way	
   of	
   making	
   and	
   communicating	
   meaning	
   through	
   imagery.	
   It	
   is	
   a	
  
                  unique	
  symbolic	
  domain	
  and	
  is	
  a	
  discipline	
  with	
  its	
  own	
  particular	
  demands	
  and	
  
                  core	
  of	
  learning.	
  Art	
  is	
  a	
  natural	
  and	
  enjoyable	
  way	
  of	
  extending	
  and	
  enriching	
  the	
  
                  child's	
  experience	
  of	
  the	
  world.	
  (DES,	
  1999,	
  p.	
  5)	
  

	
  

Within	
   the	
   Primary	
   curriculum,	
   the	
   visual	
   arts	
   are	
   viewed	
   as	
   part	
   of	
   a	
   broader	
   Arts	
   Education	
  
curriculum	
   along	
   with	
   music	
   and	
   drama.	
   Dance	
   is	
   included	
   within	
   the	
   Physical	
   Education	
   curriculum.	
  
The	
  current	
  curriculum	
  was	
  introduced	
  as	
  part	
  of	
  the	
  Primary	
  School	
  Curriculum	
  (1999).	
  Table	
  2.1:	
  
Weekly	
   minimum	
   time	
   framework	
   suggested	
   in	
   the	
   Primary	
   Curriculum	
   (1999)	
   indicates	
   that	
   the	
  
subject	
  area	
  of	
  Arts	
  education	
  (Visual	
  arts,	
  Music,	
  Drama)	
  be	
  allocated	
  3	
  hours	
  (ESRI,	
  January	
  2012,	
  
p.	
  8).	
  

	
                                                    	
  




                                                                                                                                                        13	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


Table	
  2.1:	
  Weekly	
  minimum	
  time	
  framework	
  suggested	
  in	
  the	
  Primary	
  Curriculum	
  (1999)	
  

Subject	
  area	
  
                                                                                                                                       Time	
  
	
  
Language	
  of	
  instruction	
  
                                                                                                                                     4	
  hours	
  
	
  
                                                                                                                                   3	
  hours	
  30	
  
Second	
  language	
  (Irish/English)	
  
                                                                                                                                     minutes	
  
Mathematics	
  
                                                                                                                                     3	
  hours	
  
	
  
Social,	
  Environmental	
  and	
  Science	
  Education	
  (SESE	
  –	
  History,	
  Geography,	
  
                                                                                                                                     3	
  hours	
  
Science)	
  
Social,	
  Personal	
  and	
  Health	
  Education	
  (SPHE)	
  
                                                                                                                                   30	
  minutes	
  
	
  
Physical	
  Education	
  (PE)	
  
                                                                                                                                      1	
  hour	
  
	
  
Arts	
  education	
  (Visual	
  arts,	
  Music,	
  Drama)	
  
                                                                                                                                     3	
  hours	
  
	
  
Discretionary	
  curriculum	
  time	
  
                                                                                                                                     2	
  hours	
  
	
  
	
  

The	
  Visual	
  arts	
  curriculum	
  is	
  for	
  children	
  from	
  junior	
  infants	
  to	
  sixth	
  class.	
  The	
  curriculum	
  consists	
  of	
  
six	
  strands:	
  

       §    Drawing	
                                                                          §   Clay	
  

       §    Paint	
  and	
  colour	
                                                           §   Construction	
  

       §    Print	
                                                                            §   Fabric	
  and	
  fibre.	
  

The	
   Primary	
   Curriculum	
   Review,	
   Phase	
   1	
   Final	
   Report	
   with	
   recommendations	
   (2005)	
   reviewed	
  
English,	
  Mathematics	
  and	
  Visual	
  Arts	
  in	
  the	
  curriculum.	
  According	
  to	
  the	
  data	
  from	
  the	
  review,	
  the	
  
two	
   Art	
   strands	
   most	
   experienced	
   by	
   students	
   were	
   paint	
   and	
   colour,	
   followed	
   by	
   drawing.	
   It	
   is	
  
notable	
  that	
  these	
  are	
  both	
  two-­‐dimensional	
  techniques.	
  	
  

	
  




                                                                                                                                                          14	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


Each	
   strand	
   is	
   in	
   turn	
   experienced	
   by	
   the	
   children	
   through	
   two	
   strand	
   units	
   in	
   an	
   increasingly	
  
complex	
  way	
  as	
  they	
  grow	
  in	
  both	
  skill	
  and	
  knowledge	
  and	
  progress	
  through	
  Primary	
  school:	
  

       §     Making	
  art	
  

       §     Looking	
  at	
  and	
  responding	
  to	
  art	
  

	
  

The	
   curriculum	
   allows	
   for	
   the	
   use	
   of	
   complimentary	
   media,	
   such	
   as	
   photography,	
   film,	
   computer	
  
graphics	
   where	
   appropriate.	
   Visual	
   arts	
   activities,	
   when	
   carefully	
   planned	
   and	
   using	
   a	
   range	
   of	
  
different	
   media	
   allow	
   for	
   linkage	
   of	
   the	
   different	
   strands	
   and	
   can	
   be	
   successfully	
   used	
   in	
   cross-­‐
curricular	
  activities.	
  This	
  integrated	
  learning	
  is	
  an	
  important	
  aspect	
  of	
  primary	
  education.	
  Examples	
  
of	
  some	
  suggested	
  activities	
  in	
  both	
  linkage	
  and	
  integration	
  are	
  given	
  in	
  each	
  strand.	
  However,	
  it	
  is	
  
noted	
  that	
  a	
  careful	
  balance	
  between	
  integrated	
  and	
  single	
  subject	
  teaching	
  should	
  be	
  maintained,	
  
especially	
  in	
  senior	
  classes.	
  

	
  

The	
   use	
   of	
   language	
   in	
   the	
   visual	
   arts	
   curriculum	
   is	
   important	
   and	
   helps	
   to	
   clarify	
   the	
   child's	
   ideas	
   as	
  
well	
  as	
  expand	
  their	
  conceptual	
  framework.	
  An	
  appropriate	
  understanding	
  and	
  use	
  of	
  artistic	
  terms	
  
and	
   the	
   visual	
   elements,	
   such	
   as	
   line,	
   shape,	
   colour	
   and	
   tone	
   assist	
   them	
   in	
   talking	
   about	
   their	
   ideas	
  
and	
  the	
  work	
  they	
  are	
  creating.	
  

	
  

Assessment	
  in	
  primary	
  education	
  is	
  both	
  formative	
  and	
  summative.	
  Formative	
  assessment	
  is	
  useful	
  
in	
   identifying	
   learning	
   potential	
   and	
   gauging	
   appropriate	
   teaching	
   strategies	
   to	
   allow	
   learning	
   to	
  
continue.	
  Summative	
  assessment	
  is	
  useful	
  in	
  capturing	
  an	
  overview	
  of	
  a	
  child's	
  progression	
  through	
  
the	
  visual	
  arts	
  curriculum	
  and	
  when	
  it	
  comes	
  to	
  informing	
  the	
  child,	
  their	
  parent(s)	
  or	
  teachers	
  and	
  
other	
  professionals.	
  In	
  the	
  2005	
  review	
  of	
  the	
  visual	
  arts	
  curriculum	
  it	
  was	
  noted	
  that	
  

	
  

                Teacher	
   observation	
   was	
   reported	
   as	
   the	
   most	
   frequently	
   used	
   assessment	
   tool	
   in	
  
                visual	
   arts,	
   followed	
   by	
   work	
   samples,	
   portfolios	
   and	
   projects,	
   and	
   teacher-­‐
                designed	
  tasks	
  and	
  curriculum	
  profiles.	
  (NCCA,	
  2005,	
  p.	
  9)	
  

	
  

However,	
   teachers	
   reported	
   that	
   assessment	
   in	
   visual	
   arts	
   was	
   challenging	
   based	
   on	
   time,	
  
appropriateness	
   of	
   assessment	
   and	
   their	
   "knowledge	
   of	
   visual	
   arts	
   assessment."	
   This	
   appears	
   to	
  


                                                                                                                                                                              15	
  
Background	
  Paper	
  and	
  Brief	
  for	
  Junior	
  Cycle	
  Art,	
  Craft,	
  Design	
  


bear	
   out	
   the	
   findings	
   in	
   the	
   recently	
   published	
   Review	
   of	
   the	
   Australian	
   Curriculum	
   -­‐	
   Final	
   Report	
  
(Australian	
  Government,	
  2014,	
  p.	
  212),	
  in	
  the	
  section	
  on	
  the	
  Arts,	
  where	
  it	
  points	
  out	
  the	
  need	
  for	
  
"specialists	
   on	
   staff	
   or	
   on	
   contract	
   to	
   handle	
   the	
   arts	
   curriculum	
   in	
   upper	
   primary".	
   	
   This	
   review	
   also	
  
points	
   to	
   the	
   use	
   of	
   a	
   limited	
   range	
   of	
   methodologies	
   in	
   the	
   teaching	
   of	
   Visual	
   Arts	
   with	
   teachers	
  
most	
  comfortable	
  instructing	
  through	
  two	
  dimensional	
  media.	
  

	
  

Information	
  and	
  Communication	
  Technologies	
  (ICTs)	
  were	
  also	
  mentioned	
  as	
  being	
  able	
  to	
  positively	
  
impact	
   on	
   the	
   creation	
   of	
   artwork,	
   through	
   various	
   art	
   programs	
   as	
   well	
   as	
   learning	
   to	
   look	
   and	
  
respond	
   to	
   art	
   through	
   the	
   use	
   of	
   museum	
   CDs	
   or	
   the	
   internet.	
   The	
   use	
   of	
   a	
   school	
   website	
   as	
   a	
  
potential	
  method	
  of	
  publishing	
  information	
  about	
  a	
  school's	
  art	
  activities	
  was	
  also	
  mentioned.	
  Over	
  
one	
  third	
  of	
  all	
  teachers	
  who	
  responded	
  to	
  the	
  Review	
  of	
  the	
  Visual	
  Arts	
  curriculum	
  said	
  that	
  they	
  
had	
  used	
  ICT	
  in	
  the	
  Visual	
  Arts	
  Curriculum.	
  ICT	
  use	
  in	
  visual	
  arts	
  focused	
  on	
  using	
  the	
  Internet	
  to	
  look	
  
at	
  art	
  and	
  artists	
  work	
  and	
  using	
  software	
  to	
  design	
  and	
  printing	
  cards	
  and	
  to	
  paint	
  and	
  colour.	
  

	
  

Some	
   other	
   interesting	
   findings	
   to	
   come	
   out	
   of	
   the	
   Primary	
   Curriculum	
   Review	
   were	
   around	
   the	
  
areas	
   of	
   looking	
   at	
   and	
   responding	
   to	
   art	
   in	
   the	
   environment	
   (indoors	
   and	
   outdoors).	
   Here	
   it	
   was	
  
found	
   that	
   this	
   was	
   useful	
   for	
   teaching	
   the	
   visual	
   elements	
   through	
   the	
   visual	
   arts	
   strands.	
   Also,	
  
when	
  it	
  came	
  to	
  looking	
  at	
  the	
  work	
  of	
  artists,	
  one	
  third	
  of	
  teachers	
  reported	
  that	
  children	
  in	
  their	
  
classes	
  have	
  opportunities	
  to	
  see	
  how	
  artists,	
  craftspeople	
  and	
  designers	
  work	
  with,	
  and	
  in	
  response	
  
to,	
   their	
   environments.	
   Children	
   in	
   the	
   case	
   study	
   schools,	
   who	
   had	
   met	
   with	
   or	
   spoken	
   with	
   an	
  
artist,	
  talked	
  excitedly	
  about	
  the	
  experience.	
  

	
  

However,	
  the	
  majority	
  of	
  children	
  in	
  the	
  schools	
  whose	
  responses	
  are	
  recorded	
  in	
  the	
  review,	
  while	
  
enthusiastic	
   for	
   learning	
   about	
   artists	
   within	
   the	
   schools	
   themselves,	
   77.1%	
   of	
   teachers	
   reported	
  
hardly	
   ever	
   or	
   never	
   having	
   an	
   artist	
   in	
   residence.	
   A	
   total	
   of	
   75.8%	
   of	
   teachers	
   reported	
   hardly	
  
ever/never	
  using	
  ICT	
  to	
  teach	
  about	
  how	
  artists	
  work	
  within	
  their	
  environment.	
  

	
  


	
                                                     	
  




                                                                                                                                                                         16	
  
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