‘Critically evaluate the relationship between socially engaged art and cultural policy, making recommendations for policy change if appropriate’

Self Directed Title: The ‘Creative’ Ireland Project: Cultural Policy Agendas Collide with the Field of Socially Engaged Art


In a binary system epoch of a neoliberal hegemonized ideology, cultural policies impact socially engaged ‘art’ and its practice development through political and economic instrumentalisation. The unique art ideal of human creative expression continues to be subsumed by prosperous privatised institutions. Public art or social engaging art’s fundamental aims of political, societal, economic and environmental ‘change’ are disparate from the dominant neoliberalism art values, such as individualism, entrepreneurship, and self-employment due to the creation of participatory art in both fields. Ireland’s cultural policies acts concerning the arts and creative activities are influenced by the rise of ‘new labour’ in the United Kingdom (1997), activating the introduction of Ireland’s creative sector paradigm (Curren, 2010). Thereafter Ireland’s creative industry was awakened through the newly established UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) (1998). The Irish government policy document entitled “Building Ireland’s Smart Economy” (2008) generated the economic goal of becoming an ‘innovative island’: leveraging the arts, culture and creative sectors as a world class business division, here Ireland’s creative industries will be primary economic contributors. Moreover Dublin Economic Development Action Plan (2009) highlighted the prominence of a ‘vibrant city’ and obtaining and conserving creative individuals in the city landscape (Curren & van Egeraat, 2010). The Global Creativity Index presents Ireland’s creative average intensity (creative occupations/all occupations in creative industries) as moderate, with a ranking position of 13th (Florida, 2015). Opportunities for enhancement are thus emerging through the market-driven creative occupation-based measurements.

The predominance of a neoliberalist systematic growth with the adoption of a creative ecosystem has amalgamated arts and culture towards a knowledge based economy: the new source of value for capital (i.e. creativity). Ireland’s government has demonstrated a cultural policy imperative to launch the ‘creative Ireland project’ and temporarily suspend austerity in the arts, culture and creative sectors. This paper will critically discuss Ireland’s economic-driven creative project with contemporary cultural policy proceedings, subsequently demonstrating a political-economy withdrawal of socially engaged arts practitioners to become radicalised artists in resistance to neoliberal principles.


Ireland’s Creative Economy: The Rise of Cultural Policy Motives from the Economic Collapse:

Ireland’s macroeconomic performance since the economic crisis of 2008 is strengthened via the concurrence of fiscal policy proceedings with restoring political and policy-making institutions (Whelan 2013). Instrumentalisation of the endogenicity of cultural policy actions in Ireland’s system is manifested in governmental initiative instances similar to Creative Ireland, The Creative Ireland Project and Culture 2025. These projects commodify the arts and creative sectors for employment, occupation and industry betterment. The commoditisation in advancing economies (i.e. Ireland) is displayed with political spin-doctor motives for economic boosts in the connecting sectors of cultural policy. Heather Humphreys, newly assigned from Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to Minister for Arts, is best suited to the neoliberal ideology of the alternative public policy methodology. Gray (2007) argues that state involvement in art and cultural polices is a repercussion of other societal re-developments: “cultural policy does not operate in splendid isolation from broader pressures within society” (Gray, 2007). Political actors such as Humphreys decide on apt cultural policy frameworks in light of re-structuring occurrences within Ireland’s society, prior to this event the arts and cultural policies was burdened by privatisation. State involvement was imposed with the creative policy inclusion (Gray, 2007). This emergence has illustrated Ireland’s labour market attractiveness by strengthening avenues such as competition, talent, innovation, driving enterprise growth and new labour force challenges (Action Plan for Jobs 2017), resulting in labour force polarisation across the economic spectrum.

Ireland’s creative industry cycle is represented by policy-makers and government lobbyists pursuing the heralding of a revamped ‘Tiger Economy’ in a big business and multinational corporation digital age, for example Forfás (dissolved). Enterprise Ireland and Creative Ireland are providing a high- growth sector with an immense rise in value addition to employment, in a method of supply and demand technological realm (Henry & Johnson, 2008). Currently, the sector is deemed synonymous to a facilitation movement toward a highly profitable knowledge based economy. This is partially merited as the urbanist Richard Florida’s creation: the propelling growth of globalisation communication networks and digital technology has situated the creative industries amongst the fastest evolving in the international economy (Henry & Johnson, 2008). Envisioned as cultural– political economy from a societal imaginary context, it is founded on state-run projects to provoke the creative economy inception. Together culture, policy and industry are sustaining capitalism by reforming and modernising the creative industries from creative cities and hubs, creative hybrid socio-economic organisations and corporations (Taylor, 2012). More specifically, Irish policymakers are spearheading the Culture 2025 framework policy for a conjunctional relationship of art privatised and public sectors and government departments and state agencies (Humphreys, 2016). Ireland’s state supporting the expansion of art, culture and creative structures will demand higher prosperity from competitive, self employed and entrepreneurial individuals and organisations, with this supplying a creative education system that produces a large volume of up- skilled economic agents (Durken, 1994). With this situation in tension with an internal contradiction of capitalism, a financial crisis could yet again eventuate.


The Cultural Value Project: Responding to Contemporary Neoliberal Art and Cultural Agendas:


Complimentary to the policies enacted by England’s Arts Council, the rhetoric of ‘Third Way’ governmental enlightenment is instrumentalized by a marketisation and privatisation motivation for cultural policy agenda measures (Hewitt, 2012). The Creative Ireland Programme is homogeneous to the economic and social policies by the English Parliament. Hewitt underlines Third Way cultural policy acts as an elitist driver toward government, local authorities, state agencies, and organisations’ privatisation in a cultural capitalism strategy. The featured rhetoric is defined as a three way strand mode: art as a form of cultural democracy, art as an economic drive, and art providing solutions for social amelioration. Consequently Third Way citizenship transpires by conditioning individuals to engage and prosper in the new wave economic system (Hewitt, 2012). Ascertaining societies’ understanding of cultural value is dependent on the magnitude of social inclusion, engendering an overarching principle for the ‘amorphous beast’ cultural funding system (Holden, 2004). Funding bodies, DCMS, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Creative Ireland marshal data-based knowledge on the social outcome activities, as public funding footing is funnelled by ‘economy, efficiency and effectiveness’. Cultural organisations operate their merit from “tourism, regenerated cities and assisting businesses to succeed” (Holden, 2004). The mere essence of cultural value is neglected in market-driven movements of competition, innovation and creativity. Cultural enrichment is constraint by funders issuing policy regulation in explicit and implicit developments (Holden 2004). The elusive phenomenon of cultural value is augmented via controlling hegemonic polarisation, in reaction to the state’s motion “arts and culture have the greatest impact on society through stimulation of individual reflection, empathy and imagination creating ‘critical citizenship” (Crossick, 2016). The direction of future events is shrouded by the hierarchy of power and technological revolution, rendering societal change a matter for active citizens who experience revelations in the cultural policy matrix.


Absorbing the arts and culture inside the digital landscape binary of the creative industries and innovative economy fosters potential for a cohort group of social art activists to prevent the rise of inequalities, climate change, malnourishment, and gentrification, channeling the success rate by five modes of art engagement (observational, curatorial, interpretive, inventive and ambient) (Crossick, 2016). Matarasso’s (1997) study on art participation suggests that the multiplicity of art disciplines that involve a participatory art context has the capacity to address critical social problems. Whatever the classification of social and economic backgrounds or individual prejudices, it is innate for humanity to respond to art distribution (Matarasso’s, 1997). A difficulty persists with art world apathy, indicating this as the augmentation of cultural capital by utilising the propagation of social structures. The individual is defined as a confined institutionalised asset determined by their economic wealth and social classification (Bourdieu, 1986), obedient to the consumerist identity with acceptance of cultural agendas. The Western democracy digital age attempts to ensure large population masses are engaging and participating in political, economic, socio-cultural and technological avenues. In the cultural policy detail, the nurturing of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, the safeguarding of continuity and development is necessary to produce Ireland’s market-driven economic system. This causes Ireland to be ranked second place in EU economic competitiveness and 6th in the world category (this is Ireland, 2017). Disregarding the arts by consolidating a neoliberal mechanism will encourage a conscious retaliation of art practices that are socially engaged, striving to counter a structural inequality status.


The Socially Engaged Art Practice Pattern: Consumed by Educational Institutions to Become Actors in Cultural Policy Change:

Attaining policy reform and demonstrating resistance to cultural hegemony is indicated in three divergent strategies: engagement, exodus and interstitial distance (Mahoney, 2017). Mouffe (2008) draws attention to the two contemporary paradigms of power: ‘disciplinary society’ (.i.e. education, factory and prison systems) in antithesis to ‘societies of control’ (“mechanisms of command become inherent to the social field, dispensed to the brains and bodies of the citizens”). Engagement strategy corroborates the particular project mandate and engagement propositions are approved and enforced, influencing state policy from the interior of liberal democratic politics (Deleuze 1997; Mouffe 2008). The Occupy movement was a internationally run cooperative that campaigned against social and economic inequality, aiming for alternative forms of democracy with socio- economic justice. Exodus denotes a mature model of policy action, opposing the obstacles of politics, consisting of a mass desertion (Mouffe, 2008). Liberate Tate art collective functioned its ventures on creative intervention in respect of social change. Many of Tate’s artworks are creatively disobedient pieces that operate inside state institutional open spaces. Interstitial distance is the third strategy which functions on the instrumentalization radicalisation of establishments (Mahoney, 2017). Diverse objectives with closely tied goals, the three highlighted strategies are participatory art group discourses that embrace the idea of ‘change’ in the current economic climate. The quandary becomes apparent when socially engaged art (SEA) actors are confined by conditions in education institutions, who perhaps are radical prior to this undertaking. Mouffe’s proponent of Gramsci’s term ‘war of position’ suggests the cultural hegemonic apparatus will be defeated when the multiple injustice behaviours are eradicated by replacing capitalism with a new radical economic system. This will be achieved by counter-hegemonic interventionism (Mouffe, 2008), implying the dismantling of political and economic predominance is inevitably contingent.


The California College of Art launched the first ‘social practice art’ MFA in 2005. Many other art schools have followed suit by developing masters-level certification programs (Frasz & Sidford 2017). Courses in SEA practice utilise hybrid methods and art-forms with new and old technologies that promote updated expertise, applying a creative process learning conjunction of art participation with alternative ways of addressing audiences in specific community settings (Frasz & Sidford 2017). It is debatable whether this juncture of SEA education goers is either an engagement of agonistic politics or interstitial distance from state institutions. The succeeding phase of the narrative is crucial: to proceed into the labour force as a systemic pawn or join the phenomenon of art activism. Sholette (2016) argues a butterfly effect of extraordinary regressive mass animosity that circulates in nations globally from the Brexit and Trump campaigns, which triggered a cumulative consequence of chauvinistic, ani-immigrant and climate-change-denying movements (Sholette 2016). Throughout a time of catastrophic despair art and activism collaboration that addresses social, political, economic and environmental issues is essential. In Ireland, provoking cultural policy ‘change’ will materialise from a participatory art mass boycott of Culture 2025. In contrast using the SEA field to construct a new social and political order originates from personalised agendas regarding social values and beliefs (UCLAN, 2017). Reflection on preceding art movements that embodied resistance to unjust laws, economic exploitation and authoritarian power is critical before engaging in SEA civil disobedience.


The propagation of neoliberalism manipulation is merged with Ireland’s ‘creative’ market system by indulging it under the cultural policy canon. Reassessing and imagining an unorthodox socio- economic system is what countless art movements envisaged in response. The elitist cultural institutions continued to be triumphed by privatisation of culture and consumerist entertainment (Esche, 2007). In a hyperactive society, humanity becomes vastly disillusioned under political and economic domination. The art autonomy ideal of complete emancipation will solely thrive by a complete mass departure of the conditioned spectacle of society (Debord 1967; Esche, 2007). Predetermined social factors and cultural aspects controlled by institutions and government is undoubtedly compromised. Conceivably the interstitial distance solution of ubiquitous issues is entrusted to motivated radical SEA educators through the liberation of transformative education (Connelly, 2012), rendering to aspire to inspire by pre-empting expiration.


Ireland’s cultural policy initiative is a transformation of creativity in order to augment citizen participation within the entire art spectrum. This agency of governmental priority will undoubtedly encourage a negative impact on the art sectors through funding intermediaries. The dispersion of neoliberal globalisation with Ireland’s market social and economic goals is a manoeuvre to obstruct the art evolution, thus enforcing a liquidity of constraints via the rise of Ireland’s commercial capital to artists devotees. It is indispensable for the participatory art spheres to engage and mobilise audiences in cross-disciplinary strategic (engagement, exodus and interstitial distance) endeavours to sustain genuine ‘change’. In essence, by coaxing socially engaging art inventive movements’ oppressive ideologies could be overhauled with concurring serenity.


The ‘Lifelong-Learning’ Project: Irelands Market-Driven Educational Paradigm


Contemporary and future ‘learning’ in Irelands educational network aims to be comprised of a thriving learner award attainment covering all levels in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Consequently, Irelands goal is to secure leading academic achievement in the EU ranks, with political, economic, socio-cultural and technological prepared graduates is equally crucial from the growth of ‘learning’ through education. With the ascendance of Further Education (FE) in Ireland, the nation has plans to expand the lifelong learning (LL) participation rate to 10% by 2020 and 15% by 2025; as the current figure of 167,100 (2016) LL participants is subordinate to the EU 28 average of 11% (7%) and remain well behind the EU’s leading performers (Solas, 2017). In contrast, Ireland’s status in mainstream education performs reasonably with a ranking position of 9th out of the 28 EU countries, however regarding the LL aspect it is significantly below the hierarchical structure (20th) (Solas, 2017).

Several modifications have materialised within Irelands educational institutions over the past few years. At post primary level a revamped framework of the Junior Cycle (JC) was launched in September 2014, followed by a reformation of the points and grading system involved at Senior and JC. FE and Adult Education Training (AET) in Ireland is supported by the authority Solas. This organisation was established in 2013 alongside 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs); together they distribute programmes and curricula to FE institutes. The primary objectives of FE and AET are to provide the necessary services for the up-skilling and re-training of primarily early-school leavers and post leaving certificate students. Ireland, as of most Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) countries, prioritises labour market activation as a policy strategy for employment growth and economic development; with the further education of the unemployed and those disadvantaged in entering the labour market as a crucial precondition (DES, 2018). FE and AET are Irelands strategic educational directives to meet the growing challenges of a technologically advancing and economically volatile society (Learning for Life – White Paper on Adult Education, 2000). This paper will critically discuss Irelands adoption of LL towards an economic-driven project, by ascertaining the plausibility of a market-consumed educational paradigm.


The Inception of the Lifelong-Learning Project: Structural Changes within Further Education:

Within the last two decades, Ireland has subsidised and promoted opportunities for the disadvantaged segments of the population to enhance labour market participation and economic progression (DES, 1998). In addition, via FE and AET, Irelands capital are proceeding toward generating democratic and societal betterment, utilising a model to sustain and strengthen culture, identity, and well-being, of communities, families and individuals (DES, 1998). In 1996, the OCED embraced a policy for LL, this national programme identified three fundamental elements to help the rise of Irelands LL project; lifelong, lifewide, and motivational learning (DES, 1998). The era of FE and AET is subsumed by a number of shift movements with the emergence LL, the transition from ‘welfare needs to market demands’ underpins the educational ethos being institutionalised to meet the economic pressures of the turbulent market economy (Jarvis, Holford, Griffin , 2002). The prelude of LL, as Field (2001) notes, is to increase awareness of global issues such as human rights, justice, and equality; it is difficult to see how this radical form of global education will materialise given the current trend of market-driven educational priorities. The egalitarian ideal of life-long learning appears to be increasingly appropriated by capitalist economic imperatives.

Today, Ireland functions formally on a binary system1, FE is presently not attributed under the educational provision, rather its defined as neither mainstream or higher education (Ryan, 2014). Digital natives and immigrants are dispersed throughout 1,200 centres which offer FE courses and in over 200 FET colleges. Mindful of the structural modifications in FE, students occupy the sectors course construction due to categories such as seeking specialised disciplines, reaching qualification to access the workforce, gateway into third level, second chance for second level dropouts and mature education returners (Ryan, 2011; Solas, 2012). Furthermore, Solas envisages ‘a world class integrated FE system’ that benefits the employer and learner activity, high job placement, and quality progression (Solas, 2012). In tension with an internal contradiction of capitalism; the driver of FE and LL is to increase the number of graduates competing in the economy by assembling a ranking order, the perpetuation of this new industrial and institutional era could amplify and worsen conditions; the capacity of the labour market to employ the increasing numbers of graduates has come under question, with rising levels of underemployment pervasive following the crash of 2008.Common system of regulations with two different types of institutions (Kyvik, 2002). Grummell (2011) stresses that recent structural remodelling is ‘policy-making’ in promulgating ‘neoliberal discourses’ (individualism, consumerism and market competitiveness) to encourage the ’second-chance myth’ (Grummell, 2011), demonstrating the LL project as the sole purpose for economic and political rationality.


Reconditioning Irelands Educational Paradigm: Transforming the Ideology of Mainstream Education:

The Department of Education and Skills (DES) published the Action Plan for Education (2016-2019), along with ‘our’ mission and goals DES proposes to refine Ireland’s social, cultural and economic development through transformative education and ‘learning’ (DES, 2016). In the contextual environments of propagating Ireland’s political and economic standing, DES highlights three crucial points; building a strong economy and to deliver a equitable society (politics), continuing to expand employment and public finances (economic), promoting the acquirement of essential skills in order for learners to access the labour market, hence increasing Ireland’s competitiveness from a cooperation between industry, education and the training sector (labour market) (DES, 2016). Field (2002) argues that a multiplicity of institutional frameworks are streamlining under the conditional imperative that the world is rapidly advancing; thus to extrinsic- ate ‘knowledge’ by a political, economic, socio-cultural and technological upheaval (new educational order) (Field, 2002). In a high technology knowledge society, a ‘learner-centred’ pedagogical approach is vital to ensure a nurturing learning environment. However, it appears that a paradigmatic shift is required in the institutional educational ethos; Field (2002) has highlighted how the absence of ‘dispositional autonomy’ has become pervasive in the educational system (ES). Irelands ES is administered through the DES, as a pillar of the national government, the DES is inherently intertwined with state government policies and imperatives, as such the ultimate intentions of policy interventions posses the undercurrents of the dominant political and economic imperatives of the state.

Contemporary neoliberal agendas direct increased control over the mainstream education policy (Lynch, 2012); as the period of commodifying education has begun. Lynch suggests that Irish education is swiftly transforming into a market force economy, merely a culture of ‘new managerialism’; pressurised working hours, intense competitiveness, extreme organisational commitment and spotlight individualism (Lynch, 2012). The ramifications of the commodification of education in a market-led systemic ideal is to rejig the learner to a ‘economic maximiser’; self- interest governance (Lolich, 2011; Lynch, 2012). With this, the education perception is defined as a consumption benefit; supplying assistance to other paralleling benefits where the individual plans their own choices (Lynch, 2012) “The State’s role is one of facilitator and enabler of the consumer and market-led citizen” (Rutherford, 2005; Lynch, 2012). Neoliberal principles will continue to upset educations ‘status quo’ by destroying the ideology of a human right protection institution, additionally the framework disturbs the teaching profession with downing costs and pay cuts, in 2011 Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) pinpointed that unemployment to young teachers is the biggest threat to the occupation (Lynch, 2012). This suggests that Irish education is amalgamated with neoliberal ideas and educational policy, with the prompt occurring as a market imperative that functions on authoritarian criterion; flexibility, excellence, and competition (Walsh, 2007; Finnegan 2008). Since 1998, compulsory schooling (mainstream) operates with a cooperative arrangement between Public-Private Partnerships (PPP); this was activated from the Department of Education’s pilot project (Finnegan 2008). This is envisioned through Learning Outcomes (LOs) as the gateway to the ‘neoliberal drive towards educational commodification’, LOs are purely a proposition to transfer skills for marketisation of education policy (Brancaleone & O’Brien, 2011). Irelands mainstream education paradigm is the contemporary marketisation like-format; reducing teacher-learner contact, increase learner quantity, apt learner-research measures, funding priorities, tuition fees, performance indicators, curricula modifications and updated technology (Brancaleone & O’Brien, 2011). The previous knowledge proposes the hegemonic ploy to retain the individual in a process of to and froing between education and economy, whether the individual is gradually advancing through the awarding levels of education or sustaining labour market opportunities; fostering a knowledge-driven economy is achieved.


The Market-Driven Strategy: The Growth of Ireland’s Economy from Systemic Changes in Education:

The growth of Irelands economy has excelled to be the fastest booming in the EU 28 and the 6th most competitive in the world, having an extremely skilled, educated, young, achievement committed and multicultural population (IDA, 2017). In terms of education, 52% of 25-34 year olds have reached the third level qualification status, aforementioned 30% are enrolled in STEM courses with 15% of students pursuing Social Sciences, Business and Law degrees (IDA, 2017). Irelands ES is among the top 10 for quality ES and communication of knowledge between universities and companies, in 2015/16 8,368 students were pursuing a Doctorate degree, with increasing number of technology graduates and a Springboard + initiative to upskill and retrain the employed and self- employed; as Ireland proposes to have a flourishing digital age knowledge-driven economy (WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2017; IDA, 2017). Irelands 2016 Census demonstrated that student (15 years and over) numbers have expanded from 408,838(2011) to 427,128(2016), moreover when students progress through the educational levels the unemployment rate drops significantly, although while Social Sciences, Business, Law, Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction remaining as the superior and populated skill sets to study (skill set agenda), while the Arts and Humanities has a decreased in proportion (CSO, 2016). At present, the unemployment rate is falling with employment levels increasing (OCED, 2016; CS0, 2016, Trading Economics, 2017), there is a gradual departure from schooling after mainstream education has finished; at the age of 17 the rate of enrolment is 97%, yet at age 20 this rate drops to 58%, with 48% of 20 year-olds are currently enrolled in tertiary education (OCED, 2016).


Irelands knowledge-driven economy has made strong progression economically and socially in the last two decades, since a blend of ‘policies, incorporating social partnership, pro-enterprise taxation policies, the attraction of foreign direct investment and technology’, and the improvement of systems regarding public governance and administration. However, if Ireland as a socio-cultural and an economy is to continue to prosper, adopting urgent measures and strategies are essential to design a ‘dynamic, knowledge-based, innovative and inclusive society’ (Coate & MacLabhrainn, 2009). There is a continuous statistic of 15% of a cohort who abandon mainstream education without LC, the cohort in question are placed at a almost insurmountable disadvantage in Irish society, even though educational awarding levels has expanded substantially (Barry, 2014). A underlying problem still persists as workers are over-educated and over-skilled for the low-skilled jobs, as graduates find it tougher to reach the ranks of high skill job sectors that require cognitive thinkers, this due to the labour market polarisation, dividing the population into two sharply contrasting groups. Irelands methodological pattern of transforming and sustaining a irreversible pattern of schooling to workforce and training to FE is an internal logic of the capital system growth and to stimulate productivity, product and consumerism for human capital.


The western democracy digital age attempts to ensure students are engaging and participating in political, economic, socio-cultural and technological avenues. In the learning detail, the nurturing of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, safeguarding continuity and development is necessary to produce Irelands market-driven economic system. Although with social factors and cultural aspects controlled by institutions and government, a solution of ubiquitous issues is entrusted to radical educators through the liberation of education in FE (Connelly, 2012), students would; acquire an inclusive education cycle, solve problems, take initiative, formulate ideas, concentrate on specific group well-being and develop empathy in schooling and the wider community.


The LL project is interpreted as a transformation of educational institutions toward a global market education paradigm for individualism, as it abandons the old ideology of radicalisation to function on a learning market phenomenon. Positioning mainstream education as the core engager of learning manipulation by governance through curriculum, LOs, teacher and welfare cuts, Bourdieu indicates this as the augmentation of cultural capital by utilising propagation of social structures; defining the individual as an institutionalised asset determined by their economic wealth and social classification (Bourdieu, 1986). The direction of future events is shrouded by the hierarchy of power and technological revolution, rendering societal change a matter for informal education enthusiasts that experience revelations in their initial education paradigm.

Design, Socially Engaged Art

‘Play Your Part’ Manifesto



Play Your Part, What’s it all about?

Planet; this formation began roughly 4.600 million years ago; A timeline of rocks; oceans; bacteria; sulphur; rising oxygen; multi-cellular organisms; algae; hard shelled animals; dinosaurs; soil; land; plants; flowers; mammals; homo sapiens; society. Meanwhile, the connection between planet and nature is slowly detaching. In nature we fear difference; in the planet we welcome change. Global warming has the climate system heating; the environment smashes through the monopoly of capitalist inventions, always; rethinking, rebuilding, recreating. In the exploration of the continents we search for the answer, yet so much divide, barriers, borders. Deriving from the oceans we’ve banished with our apathetic minds; bleaching the corals; consuming the food; contaminating the blue hue. Travelling for survival; on highways; motorways; aeroplanes, the green land that nurtured us is replaced with industrialisation; power plants, oil engines, petrol engines, deforestation, radiation, animal production. Reshaping the paradigm; rising of sea levels; melting ice caps, the movement of habitats; probing for a new home. The long haul droughts, higher intensity of heat levels; abnormal weather patterns; this hurts the third. Greetings to the unwelcomed, the mass displacement of inhabitants, unmanageable overpopulation, scarcity of resources, fear of freedom; the spatial distribution of mankind; we are over capacity. This is the planet! rapidly changing construction, course, cycle, and colour. Play your part. Play to preserve the land, sustain the oceans, zero the waste, lower the pollution, be creative with consumption, lower water usage, embrace mass transit, cycling, electronic transportation, energy efficiency; compost, reuse, reduce, recycle. The power of art is the salvation; continuing to embark on the visual discipline journey, as art awakens empathy within mankind’s detached mass. The prestige of art can rescue the planet; Art is life; life is art.

Did you know that this isn’t even our planet, but it’s our only home?

Life; it first appeared almost 4 million years ago; the life sequence begins with prokaryotic fossils; fish; plants; forests; amphibians; reptiles; dinosaurs; birds; flowers; bees; mammals; great apes; homo sapiens. Moving in conjunction of the life cycle; 5 major mass extinctions emerge; with the 6th extinction in progress *watch this space. Life fights to survive. Evolutionary nature has plans to eradicate recorded history, scientific transcripts, and all living things. If humans suddenly disappeared tomorrow; trees and plants will return to natural growth; CO2 will absorb quicker; winters get colder; northern countries are covered by ice; species that were hunted now reproduce freely; roads become overgrown with trees; buildings collapse; new ecosystems form in cities; oceans recover from overfishing; CO2 created by humans has vanished; rivers return to their natural course; forests return to superior conditions; nuclear waste is the only vestige of human life. Life does not need humanity for sustainable survival; humanity requires life to continue to exist. The natural course of elimination has become secondary; life has to embark on altering the environment for continuity; creature’s disintegrating; polar bears, sea lions, penguins, status endangered; snow leopard, giant panda, tigers, status vulnerable; cheetah, elephants, lions; the marines’ rise; as whales and walruses cry. The earth’s soil has 60 years left; kind regards, intensive farming; running out of time; food has disappeared; no more harvests; Food Armageddon; time to evacuate. This beautiful sturdy blue and green planet complete with life growth, will one day absorb the rubbish we produce, forgetting our existence and propelling onwards. The garden of earthly delights enters its last segment, decayed with a burned landscape; paradise is progressively been degraded and demolished *this must change. Your here to; learn about endangered species, visit wildlife refuge, have a wildlife friendly community, secure native plants, buy sustainable products, eliminate harassment of wildlife, protect wildlife habitat, spread the word. Visualise a new iteration of this story; become active in your community, land, oceans, society, and culture, devote your time to change; design greater support and awareness; increase the mobilisation; and play your part in this pivotal Aquarian age of the prevalent life narrative.

Did you know that all life has importance, society will not survive the next extinction, but life will certainly find a way!

Humanity; the growth of the human account has created an overpowering 108 billion lives on earth; with 7 billion standing as the ever-changing current figure. The routes of human experience commences with; civilisation that matures into communities; hunter gathers: please acknowledge that evidence of warfare is non-existent in this stage; furthering onto the agricultural communal; the generation of surpluses; the innate social animal has found dominance; where the human individual cannot survive without a group formation; the essence with harmony, defined by nature; soon to be burdened by the greedy acquisition of material goods; commercialisation; commodification; conformity; welcome to the ‘humanity’; the old social condition has become a fallen realm. The great pyramids, the wall of china; religion; politics; communism; capitalism; socialism; wall street; the rise of the super rich, beneath an underclass is confined; the smart city collaborates with the illusionary facade of monetary gain for the 1% to strive *knock knock, who’s there; systems of control; hypernormalisation; freedom standing as the almighty myth. Global impulses – armed conflict, spread of infectious diseases, overpopulation, global terrorism, economic collapse, poverty, world hunger, globalisation, the digital age, data, Brexit, trump; the upcoming chapter; World War Three; please stay tuned. The inception of control has awakened the dormant voice; Marxism; constructivism; fascism; nazism; neoliberalism; conservatism; feminism; liberalism; individualism; the conscious revolution, the repetitive story; reaction, repulse, resolve, repeat. The desire for change assisted by the broken systems, shifting of power occupies the world; fear of modification; the ideology of the self.  Part of you; denies the fragility of the planet; immediately take action; this planet we collectively are ruining; change our course of contemporary times; this is the sole hope or history will serve us; memorise and embrace this as the beginning of the next great adventure; and that fundamental core of the human experience – love and nature; expand your consciousness, awaken your human passion. A consensus is defined by a brighter future within innate human creativity, by which a paradigm shift in ubiquitous education will nurture a social aspect for change.

Did you know humanity is considered the most advanced civilisation; this seems surreal in the current matrix!

How will you play you part?

Uncategorized, Writings

Art and Global Citizenship Education: The New Paradigm of Contemporary Learning in Education.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead, 2012)

The nature of encouraging omnipresent ‘change’ in hometowns, communities and/or nations is an arduous procurement, in view of the fact that the media, sceptics, and hierarchal power control a large volume of the world outlook. Nevertheless, creating progression in the domain of ‘change’ can be achieved through education; this is determined by the distributed criteria obtained by receivers of knowledge. Relating to this point, global citizenship, art and global education are primal candidates of addressing global issues of the socio-political, economic and environmental ethos (UNESCO 2018). The term ‘global citizenship’ underlines that; learners of all ages (children, young people, and adults) can be educationally prepared for the contemporary world, by essentially exploring diverse cultures, languages and economies. Active ‘global citizens’ empathise, take action, raise awareness and act for more just, equal and sustainable communities and beyond (UNESCO 2018; United World Schools Charity, 2018). Global education aims to promote societal change in a creative, vigorous and experiential manner, utilizing universal values such as tolerance, solidarity, equality, justice, inclusion, co-operation and non-violence as the fundamental holistic approach; thus a positive consequence of ‘global education’ would be value amendments, perception revision and attitude alteration in correlation to global challenges (GLEN, 2017). Art in education is a vehicle of diverse disciplines that regard the cultures of life as the primal creative prompt (UNESCO, 2018). UNESCO designs two principles in art education (learning through arts and culture’ and ‘learning in the arts/culture), the first; expands ‘artistic expression’, engages gratitude concerning ‘traditional and contemporary culture’, and forms a learning conjunction of ‘society skills’ with varied ‘inter-disciplinary’ disciplines (UNESCO, 2018). The second principle indentifies the importance of ‘cultural perspectives’, ‘multi and inter-cultural’, and ‘culturally-sensitive languages’ through ‘learning processes’; thus the value of ‘cultural diversity’ is attained by strengthening the behavioural shape of social unity in respect of concurrent and future global obstacles (UNESCO, 2018). This research will demonstrate through the literature and theoretical findings the positive impact art and global citizenship education can have in the educational paradigm learning setting, by referring to a unique exploration of global issues (poverty, inequality and climate change) in the context of ‘change’ through transformative education and how active global citizenship can consciously mobilise individuals within the topical matrix.

The Purpose: Contemporary Education Paradigm:

Angie Peifer (2014) argues that the primary ‘purpose of education’ is to facilitate digital natives/young adults to fulfil their life potential, prepare entry into the workforce and citizenship (Peifer, 2014). Bourdieu (1990) highlights the education system (ES) as a conditional pattern of standardisation, reproduction and orthodoxy, creative expression and freedom of thought are constrained by the pre-circumscribed parameters within which they exist. Given that the traditional education paradigm is primarily concerned with inculcating agents into a standardised ideological norm, the fundamental pedagogy is one of routinisation and conformity (Bourdieu, 1990). Freire (1970) stresses that the individual (agents) within the confines of the ES ‘pedagogy of oppression’ cannot accomplish complete liberation without the unconstrained exercise of independent thought and the opportunity to influence the conceptual framework in which agents learn. For the agent, to attain a conscious revolutionary societal status and the pursual of liberation, Freire suggests a complete denial of the ideological ‘banking’ ES must be embraced (Freire, 1970). Martin Luther King (1948) once said the very function of education should aim to teach one to ‘think intensively and critically’. Similarly, Noam Chomsky defines that the educational purpose: “Is for the student to acquire the capacity to inquire, to create, to innovate, to challenge; that’s education” (Chomsky, 2014); the exploration of critical and creative abilities is an important educational attainment according to Chomsky and King. Furthermore, Henning Meyer emphasises today’s ES as relying heavily on ‘committing facts to memory rather than on building analytical and creative capabilities’ (Meyer, 2012, p36). Meyer maintains that analytics and creativity is a future workforce necessity with the digital age demanding that workers are ‘flexible and adaptable’. He contends that it’s essential for the ES paradigm to reflect this model with an immediate rethinking of the current educational policies (Meyer, 2012). Contrary to Bourdieu’s point on the ‘homogeneity and orthodoxy’ ES, Ken Robinson issues an academic solution to contemporised schooling; ‘divergent thinking’ the vital capacity of the creative vision via the exercise of disparate thinking (Robinson, 2013).

Art Education: The Route to Change through Critical Thinking:

Richard Siegesmund (2015) supplies an overarching explanation of how art in education is about mind habits that illustrate a re-imagining of new possibilities within democratic societies by providing an audience with an understanding of empathy (Siegesmund 2015). Eisner (2004) denotes a peril of the field of education is a failing to contain an initiation of the role of values and democratic ideals in the ES curricula. Through art practices, applied fields and researchers, these educational relationships are integral components of the domains, cultures and methods within the ES, thus awakening a new ‘culture of schooling’ in which greater gravity is devoted toward creative exploration is crucial (Eisner, 2004). Eisner observes that in order to design effective ‘change’, the foremost destination is to revamp the societal perception of the ‘purpose of education’. In art education, Pringle (2000) perceives the artist demographic in a multitude of elements (artist as the educator, collaborator, role model, social activist and teacher as the artist); higher gratification from the receivers of knowledge is acquired when practicing artists uniquely adopt and enrich the learning setting. Under the category ‘artist as the educator’ Pringle states three factors involving the artist teacher-student relations; learning on their own accord, exert risks and encouragement of interpersonal skills. In addition, if the artist teacher is appearing and acquitting oneself as a practicing artist and highlighting the subjectivity of their practice, results as an educator are adequate and effective (Pringle, 2000). Artist and student collaboration demonstrates the natural learning technique of production through occupation; this engages the learner to become an embodied socially active experiencer. Ultimately, ‘the artist as a social activist’ reveals the primary objective should be concentrated on the creative process rather than the final piece, therefore “The emphasis is on developing a shared practice that is socially or politically, rather than purely aesthetically, motivated” (Pringle, 2000). Intertwining critical thinking to work in conjunction with art education can inspire original conception in the creative phenomenon approach. To think critically on a project, brief or activity by designing a learning methodology of analytics, skillful conceptualisation, communication, creativity, open-mindedness and problem solving (Identifying the causes; effects of a problem; route cause; brainstorming solutions; developing criteria for evaluating solutions; evaluating all solutions to determine the best aim; developing an action plan) assists the individual in generating successful solutions from a problem prompt (Brookfield 1987; Balance, 2017) (UNESCO, 2018). Moreover, Brookfield (1987) recognisees this framework as of utmost importance, especially when the inclusion of critical thinking with a healthy, sustainable culture and society is eminent; showing a human awareness that there is a higher intensity and demand for ‘change’ (Brookfield, 1987). On this detail, it’s vitally important for critical analysis, reflection and problem solving to be nurtured continuously in art education so the creative profusion is responsive in the contemporary public sphere. However, critical thinking is neither an implication of ‘negative pessimism’ nor an apathetic viewpoint of governmental procedures, it’s purely a cognisance that “not only is the world not what it appears to be, but it could be different from what it is” (Brookfield 1987).

Global Education: Sustainable Development and Active Citizenship:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are an assemblage of 17 goals set by the United Nations; the goals in question are interconnected although each has its own central aims and objectives:”Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (overall target) ” (United Nations, 2014). SDG number 4 is ‘Quality Education’, this urges all nations with obtained knowledge and skill sets to encourage sustainable development through exponentially growth in the ES, additionally the goal calls on all institutions to promote the common humanity and succour assortment for the learners to become responsible and ‘active global citizens’ (UNESCO, 2018). Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) assure that content study in the ‘new movement’ of education will be established around a peaceful, sustainable, and environmentally friendly world, not only that, fostering updated skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes that empower learners to undertake ‘active roles’ in local communities, national epidemics and global scale issues (SDG 2015; UNESCO, 2018). Notably, UNESCO’s engagement with Global Citizenship Educational Development (GCED) devised a four pillar strategy; holistic, transformative, value based, and part of a larger commitment. ‘Holistic’ is founded on the revaluation of curriculum content, structure, and results, and a formal pedagogical learning model shape. ‘Transformative’ focuses on allowing the learner to transform oneself in the societal aspect, whereas ‘value based’ is comprised around connective values such as ‘non-discrimination, equality, respect and dialogue’, ultimately ‘part of a larger commitment’ is maintaining a continual growth of quality and educations pertinence (UNESCO, 2015). UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring team examined educations ramifications on a poverty minimisation in developing nations, as nearly 60 million adults could elude from poverty if a receival of two more years of quality education was provided. Additionally, supposing that 420 million adults accomplished a second level educational fulfilment, half the total figure of globally penury would be reduced; hence it’s a contemporary imperative for education to reach the globes poor people to achieve an apt reduction of ‘income inequality’ (UNESCO, 2017). Wealth, gender, ethnicity and location determine a substantial amount of opportunities in education and life, the World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE) reported on the deplorable levels of ‘education inequality’ across countries such as Nigeria, Yemen, Haiti, Ethiopia, India, DRC, Uganda and Bangladesh. For instance, in Nigeria 9 out of 10 young women have never received the opportunity to complete primary education, with long term ‘educational inequalities’ leaving a vast percentage of Nigeria’s young without skill sets for job progression or job dependency. Yet, in Yemen 47% of 7-16 year olds have failed to experience a schooling environment, this including 88% of young Yemeni women never receiving the chance to finish primary level, likewise 88% of Ethiopia and Haiti poorest young women (15-24) are not likely to complete primary education (UNESCO, 2013). In the prominence of digital age, it’s crucial to address ‘educational inequalities’ in nations such as those mentioned; UNESO and the SDG’s have collaborated in making it their top priority. The UNESCO climate change initiative intents to promote ‘climate literacy’ amongst the globes youth through education, allowing ‘innovative teaching approaches’ for learner (raising) awareness and (increasing) mobilisation by Intensify ‘non-formal education programmes(media, networking and partnerships) for tackling climate action. Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD) target the general public, the digital natives and the upcoming generations to comprehend and connect with the ever-present global warming issues, utilizing lifestyle adaptations for a reduction in ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ and changing ‘local conditions’ (UNESCO, 2010). CCESD in formal and in-formal surroundings is indispensable, thus ‘instilling climate change awareness and understanding at a young age is ultimately the best way to change behaviours and attitudes’ (UNESCO, 2010). UNESCO plans to leverage its prowess in the educational paradigm in order to lead by example and ‘raise the profile of CCESD on the international agenda through the ‘Climate Change Initiative’, by elevating the CCESD three core programme objectives (strengthen capacity’, for curriculum review and reform, for teachers and other educational personnel) ‘climate literacy’ is extremely obtainable. Strengthening capacity for ‘education policy’ through in-depth analysis, cooperative assistance, conducting research studies, and refine ES standpoint of the impact of climate change, what’s more a curriculum review and reform will have to merge CCESD transdisciplinary methods into current disciplines such as science, geography, humanities and language courses (UNESCO, 2010). The final segment is for teachers and other educational personnel to dispense conditions such as attitude, motivations and skills, which demands the educator to research the consequences of climate ‘change’ by encouraging the need for improvements, leading on to be capable and confident educator by launching ‘climate literacy’ into the classroom setting (UNESCO, 2010). Enhancing the knowledge base of poverty, inequality and climate change is a vital for contemporary (formal/Informal) education to blossom, this educational frame will facilitate learners to be conscious about global challenges that humanity currently faces, and will face in the future.

Systems Thinking: Cross-Cultural Awareness and Adaptability:

The systems thinking perspective is the responsiveness to the circular nature of the present world; a recognition of the ‘role of structure’ in organising and manipulating the societal conditions we face; an understanding that power and law structural systems reside at the top of the ‘pyramid’ of hegemony with human consciousness of this becoming a dominant human trait; a growth of awareness that there are reactions to humanities actions in life (Goodman, 2017). In general, the systems thinking frame of reference entails curiosity, clarity, compassion, choice, and courage, this allows the learner to observe a situation in thorough manner, by noticing a large quantity of interventions to a problem (Goodman, 2017). Rosenthal (2003) maintains that running systems thinking simultaneousness to ‘eco-art’ (ecological art) projects can provide learners with a higher quality understanding of environmental issues. Connecting the learner with human and non-human nature through creativity, open discussions, reports, written responses, and visual statements, therefore defining Rosenthal systems thinking practice with ‘eco-art’; “this changes our relationship with the environment in that we must work in harmony with it. As I go into my professional life, I believe I will maintain this idea of collaboration with the earth” (Rosenthal, 2003). Utilizing a frame of systems practice theory which excels into action based practice, Rosenthal regards this syllabus as a formation of challenging perceptions; examine particular issues; and peer-peer collaboration projects (Rosenthal, 2003). The ‘eco-art’ pedagogy has evidence for the leaner to develop precious skill sets, including examining problems in the context of systems thinking, communication and visualisation of the problems situation, team building and process perspectives, and feedback and assessment criteria (Rosenthal, 2003); this framework (systems thinking) adheres to nurturing the learner’s growth of cross-cultural awareness and adaptability in education. In essence, by coaxing a social aspect within the learners’ work (in any global issue position) and having a creative, active, reflective and experiential setting, a contribution to sustainable development will be collectively achieved.

Critical Analysis: Art and Global Citizenship Education:

The analytical participation within this study has presented multiple outcomes in relation to a successful journey of the contemporary education paradigm, which shows that creativity, critical thinking and ‘change’ education are prime engagers of the learner’s knowledge in art and global citizenship education. Nonetheless, further investigation into the reasoning behind the distances of the disciplines would be valuable to the areas wide spectrum; therefore the inclusion of art with global citizenship education could certainly be embraced. The body of literature proposed that art and multiple forms of global education can be one of the driving factors of ‘all’ future ES, and this analysed that awakening innate ‘change’ making capabilities in an artistic learners mind is practical and possible; but additional revision into this process would be beneficial. The primary recommendation of this research is that if art and global citizenship education, is one of the foremost solutions to global problems, and in order to resolve it further, more support and awareness must be generated to increase mobilisation and academics and organisations such as those discussed play a pivotal part in this narrative; as it’s sadly inadequate. In the collaborative spirit, connecting academics in a cross-disciplinarily context by sharing knowledge, resources, active participation projects and starting to construct a curriculum around ‘change’ will invite a unique, agile and attractive ES. In so doing, perhaps learners will become creative and active global citizens that address global issues of a socio-political, economic and environmental ethos. “Since some of the most promising areas of research and creativity are interdisciplinary not only in the physical and natural sciences but in the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts as well, we have to develop creative multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in our liberal arts curricula in order to provide intellectual coherence through interdisciplinary themes” (Gregorian 1993).

Critical Understanding: The Purpose of Change within the Learning Environment:

The intuition of ‘change’ should not be considered a futuristic human ideology; rather an academic assemblance of ‘change’ requires a system of methods from the ‘root cause analysis’ (RCA). RCA is an essential pattern to ascertain how to understand and resolve a problem, such as, the occurrence and its beginning with a conception of ‘Sinek’s Theory’ (why, what, how) (CMS, 2011). Focusing on utilizing ‘art’ as a tool for ‘change’, the learner must conduct a RCA with the following guidelines; identification of the event; charter team roles; account of event factors; pinpoint responsible causes; identify the root cause; design a apparatus to ‘change’ to remove the root cause; measure and evaluate the range of success (CMS, 2011). Reflecting on earlier points on the ‘purpose of (art) education’, In the Aristotelian teaching act, the theory/philosophy of teaching-learning is primarily a teacher’s instruction to a learner about a body of knowledge and/or discipline (Aristotle; Kennedy, 1991). According to Allan Ornstein, teaching-learning is a ‘disciplined enquiry into an aspect of reality’, and the institution should cultivate and expand each individual’s rationality of society (Ornstein, 1981). In contemporary education plans to embrace a purpose of ethos based around ‘Modes of Rhetoric’ in the teaching-learning process, highlighting three categories of ethos; practical skills/wisdom, virtue/goodness and goodwill towards the audience (Aristotle; Kennedy, 1991). An adaptation of such an ethos in alignment with contemporary global issues and ideals such as those present in the Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO’s educational philosophy is vital for the future of art and global education learning.


The generalised consensus within this research submits that ‘quality’ education as a concept displays numerous amounts of verses globally, and through learning and creative methods positive and pragmatic societal and cultural advancements can materialise, such is that, by situating art and global citizenship education in a connective formula, life complexities can be challenged and improved upon. Thus, an alternative vision of the contemporised education paradigm where ‘emotional empathy’ plays a fundamental part in all aspects of the field, resulting in reconditioning the perception of the realm of ‘change’ that supply the learner with the capacity to be a consciously active mobile ‘global’ citizen.

Uncategorized, Writings

‘Critically Reflect on your Experience of Teaching and Observation within FE’ Drawing on Brookfield and Related Sources’


“The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning, that’s it” (Robinson, 2012)

The duties of a teacher/facilitator of learning comprises of a list of overall functions (teaching knowledge, role modelling, mentoring and protection of environment). According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization),’ the teacher’ is an influential force of equity, distributes access to good quality education, and are a key aspect of nurturing humane global development. However, ongoing ascendance of concerns are directed at their status, training, recruitment, retention, and working conditions (UNESCO, 2016). In 2016, UNESCO revealed in the current educational paradigm there is a global shortage of ‘well-trained’ teachers, with an estimate of 69 million recruitment growth is essential at ‘all levels’ by 2030. Sir Ken Robinson argues that the very essence of educational development is the vigorous relationship between teacher and learners. Robinson acknowledges that there has been a devised division between learner and the goal of education; with this deducting from the main ‘teacher role’ (providing assistance for the student to learn). The modern-day question is: what information should the digital natives acquire with the prescription of knowledge attained. A high degree of teaching depends on the pedagogical skills and the passion of the teacher – learner process (Robinson, 2012), from this, supplying a set of expertise that emphasise learning facilitation. Meanwhile, educational modernisations are beginning to transpire; United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education) is targeting a maintained increase of qualified teachers. The goal aims for improvements of training, recruitment, retention, status, working conditions and motivation (United Nations; UNESCO, 2014). As education evolves with elements of a ‘dormant landscape’, the pursual of a teacher/facilitator of learning is to move towards flourishing and cultivating the conditions.


Stephen Brookfield suggests that uncovering the worth as a teacher is pre-eminent from a process of critical reflection. Interestingly, Brookfield illustrates a three pillar step procedure of a successful critically reflective teacher; a sharpened ‘authentic voice’ with ‘pedagogic rectitude’, that generates ‘value and dignity’ (Brookfield, 1995). To have diverse viewpoints as a critical reflective teacher is Brookfield’s main goal within this model. In fact, Brookfield submits ‘four lenses’ that teachers can critically connect with; (1) the autobiographical, (2) the students’ eyes, (3) our colleagues’ experiences, and (4) theoretical literature (Brookfield, 1995). The lenses in question correlate to processes of self reflection, learner feedback, peer assessment and involvement of scholarly literatures. Autobiographical lens or self reflection is a crucial feature of critical reflection; Brookfield distinguishes this as ‘utmost importance’. This highlights previous and present-day experiences as a learner and teacher, which give rise to the ‘paradigmatic assumptions and instinctive reasoning’s’ (Brookfield, 1995). Utilizing mediums such as teaching ‘journals, evaluations, personal goals/outcomes, and role model’ profiles are all prime ingredients of the teaching pedagogical pattern (Brookfield, 1995).


Jack Richards suggests that observing by co-operating alongside a teacher and his/her class plays a central role in ‘practice based teaching’. The ‘purpose and nature’ of observation can vary as this can solely depend on the participating observers interests, values and requirements (Richards, 2006, Ch7). Moreover, in the observation phase there are three different classifications (explainer, involver, and enabler) of teachers and teaching methods (EnglishPost, 2012). The ‘Explainer’ knows the subject matter comfortably and has strong intellectual vocabulary; the ‘Involver’ has a strong command on the structure of the class environment with an activity based methodology; the ‘Enabler’ produces a class setting which has conditions founded around students learning on their own accord, in addition to components of knowing the methodology and subject matter (EnglishPost, 2012).

Teaching and Learning Experiences:

Richards underlines that it’s healthy to have a preceding comprehension of the limitations and various natures of the classroom settings. For instance, simultaneous events can transpire throughout a lesson which increases the difficulty attached to observing a large class group, therefore to be consciously advised that teaching is ‘dynamic and complex activity’ is vital (Richards, 2006, Ch7). From experience, by observing an ‘involver’ teaching mode in a considerable amount of detail (twenty-eight hours), formal instructions were continuous at the beginning and end of each session. The instructions in question were reminders of tasks ahead, important continuous assessment criteria and interior and exterior institution activities. However, informal direction was the main platform utilized by the ‘involver’ teacher in this case. A student difficulty and/or assistance would prompt the ‘involver’ teacher to engage on a one-to-one tutorial lesson task, this status became repetitive throughout the observation attained. In some incidents, students would be interpersonal, have experiential learning concentration, or work on an equal task model (.i.e. roundtable learning strategy). With
students regularly working on computers, ‘Information Overload’ became evident within the classroom framework, noticing a lack of involvement towards class tasks which created an apathetic attitude. Therefore, the learner would acquire natural traits such as responding to differing interests from their motivation moods. Stimulation varied from student to student, with obstacles such as Smartphone usage, ongoing conversing, and lack of concentration as frequent occurrences. In contrast, the classroom management was divergent when observing the ‘Explainer’ teacher methods (two hours). In particular, controlling the class and room with commanding grammar and presentations changed the position (teacher-learner) to a constant formal context.

Pedagogical Knowledge Base:

Sonia Guerriero, draws attention to a number of global educational imperatives that will improve student outcomes by upping the quality of teachers. (1) ‘Pedagogical Knowledge’ refers to illustrating an effective student learning environment that is concerned within specialised discipline (Guerriero, 2012). (2) ‘Extensive Pedagogical Content Knowledge’ features a pattern of problem solving strategies, adaptation of the learner, decision making, perception of classroom events, and sensitivity to the context will greatly nurture the growth of the student learner. (3) ‘Influencing Student Outcomes’ by connecting the teacher’s cognitive knowledge with excellent instruction has higher potential for student achievement. The teacher’s knowledge is best described from a process of teaching-learning; various approaches will change the learner’s experience, and/or manipulate the percipience of the teacher in a class setting, thus the level of student input begins to lower or rise from this (Guerriero, 2012). ‘Pedagogical Knowledge Base’ is an integral segment of the educational structure, this shapes effective teaching-learner insertions, but impulses regarding learning will differ in complex environments and diverse student backgrounds .i.e. Further Education Sector.

Experiential Learning:

Lesson design and in class judgements are important features of the ‘teaching-learning process’, this will adhere to a teachers’ excelling as ‘learning specialists’ (Guerriero, 2012). A concept which was adopted within the teaching practice setting was experiential learning; this challenges the student to critical think, problem solve, and decision make within the context of the relevant field (Illustration & Drawing) (UNESCO, 2010). A continual approach of experiential learning did build opportunities (within the classroom) to debrief,
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reflect, consolidate ideas, peer to peer feedback, and exhibit idea generation. Consequently, this paved the way for interpersonal relations between students whilst the teacher would orchestrate the knowledge and direction of tasks, assessments, and aims and objectives of the given class. With assistance of the two powerful resources of student connections with music and educational technology the teaching-learning process would be accomplished.

Purpose and Recommendations:

In the Aristotelian teaching act, the theory/philosophy of teaching-learning is primarily a teacher’s instruction to a learner about a body of knowledge and/or discipline (Aristotle; Kennedy, 1991). According to Allan Ornstein, teaching-learning is a ‘disciplined enquiry into an aspect of reality’, and the institution should cultivate and expand each individual’s rationality of society (Ornstein, 1981). Future plans to embrace a purpose of ethos based around ‘Modes of Rhetoric’ in the teaching-learning process, highlighting three categories of ethos; practical skills/wisdom, virtue/goodness and goodwill towards the audience (Aristotle; Kennedy, 1991). An adaptation of such an ethos in alignment with contemporary global issues and ideals such as those present in the Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO’s educational philosophy is vital for the future of global education and learning.


Notably, through research, observation, reflection, experience and participation the coining term of ‘teacher’ will no longer be required, as this has been transcended by the more apt description of the ‘Facilitator of Learning’. This will comfortably acknowledge the learners as the prime focus of learning activities in the classroom, in other words, the central attention is on the learner’s expansion, hence, the facilitator solely inspires, motivates, awakens and fosters (diverse) intelligence .i.e. nurtures ‘Self-Actualization’ (Maslow; Olson, 2013). For Brookfield, the facilitation of adults to understand the ‘personal, social, occupational, and political environments’ in which they exist in, is an important, exhilarating, and profound activity for the facilitator and learner to be involved in (Brookfield, 1986). Reflecting on Brookfield’s four lens of becoming a critical reflective teacher (facilitator of learning), the final goal is to become a student-centred, flexible and innovative facilitator of learning (Brookfield, 1995). Brookfield stresses ‘in a deliberate and sustained way’ a continual expansion of shaping the classroom pattern will complement the natural dynamism and change inherent in ever fluctuating process of human learning. Across the entire educational paradigm the aim ought to ‘ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning’ (United Nations, 2014), the specific objective in the guided field is to ensure learners encourage ‘sustainable development’, this educational frame will facilitate learners to be conscious about global challenges that humanity currently faces, and will face in the future. In essence, by coaxing a social aspect within the learners’ work and having a creative, active, reflective and experiential setting, a contribution to sustainable development will be collectively achieved.


Public Figures help make Societal Change towards Environmental Issues.

In modern society the role of the celebrity comes with responsibilities and positive behavior. The public figure status has to show morality and ethics in areas of disparity, epidemics and worldwide issues. With the dominance of social media a noticeable reaction from celebrity culture is attempting to connect the masses across racial, political and social divides on popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This creates widespread admiration towards highly significant worldwide issues; however, does this celebrity role have any positive effect in environmental issues? Key figures like Al Gore, Leonardo Dicaprio and Barack Obama seek a mass participation in environmental matters. In 2009, multiple celebrities turned into environmentalists as they regard themselves the modern day ‘green celebrities’ (Web Ecoist, 2009). The green celebrities create passionate activism on mediums such as documentaries, public campaigns and ecological projects.

In November 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Trump and the rest of his Republican party has notably disregarded climate change. The president elect has utilised China as a scapegoat towards Global Warming; coining the issue as a Chinese market plan to make US manufacturing non-competitive. The public figure and president elect may not think he will be alive to see the detrimental effects of Climate Change, and society has deducted from this that Trump and the Republican party have an arrogant view. However, the facts are real: in 2016 NASA revealed that since 2000 mankind has seen 15 of the hottest years on record (NASA 134-Year Record). Other effects such as rising sea levels from melting ice caps, longer droughts, higher heat levels, and  much greater intensity of hurricanes and abnormal weather patterns across all 7 continents. To combat Trump and other sceptic views, action must be taken in all societal areas to increase environmental awareness. Moreover, efforts from paramount public figures can attempt to target all sections of society. This study aims to show the involvement of well know figures in promotion of climate change awareness and demonstrating how they effectively use the media to help increase understanding of environmental issues.

Climate change is already impacting every ocean and continent around the globe; that is according to a new study by the United Nations.  Hundreds of scientists and experts in the study reported that the ramifications of global warming is colossal and imminent change is required; this report was generated over a 5 year period starting in 2010. Scientists report that our oceans have been getting warming since 1970 and they are highly certain this is down to greenhouse gases caused by mankind (power plants, oil/petrol engines, deforestation, radiation, and animal production). Ocean warming is having a massive impact on sea life as they leave their well known habitat to find cooler water levels; furthermore, fish in the Mediterranean continue to perish due to ocean warming. In addition to ocean warming, land animals in North America, Europe, Chile and Malaysia move 17km north to escape the heat caused by global warming. However, movement is not an option for Coral Reefs. Coral Reefs around the world’s oceans are bleaching and later dying. The Coral Reefs are home to nearly 4000 species of fish, which impacts 500 million people who rely on reef ecosystems for 5 billion US dollars a year.

The next major influence of climate change is in the arctic. Scientists believe that the arctic is having a regime shift, which is impacting plants growing upwards and animal populations such as seals and polar bears, which are deteriorating. In turn, food supply for people who live in the arctic is threatened by climate change. Scientists and experts also show that glaciers are decaying rapidly, which causes rising sea levels. Animal agriculture accounts for up to 50 percent of global emissions, with this, the beef and dairy industry accounts for 65 percent of all livestock emissions. The global livestock sector accounts for 14 percent of Earth’s greenhouses gases which come from carbon emissions. In the United States of America alone 260 million acres of forest  have been cut down to create land for producing feeds for livestock; also in the US, 70 percent of grain is created to feed this livestock. To put that into perspective, land the same size of seven rugby fields are bulldozed every minute in the world for farming animals. It takes 2400 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat: in the US, up to half of the all water utilised goes to animal production for food. Nevertheless, all living things have modern day solutions for eco calamity that lie in the hands of humankind.

Public figures talk about the above significant issues regularly. Figures in the limelight such as Leonardo Dicaprio can change millions of people’s perceptions on the severity of global warming. People across the globe are unaware of the devastating effects of ocean warming, rising sea levels, arctic catastrophe, and animal agriculture; as a result the masses tend to be clueless as to what mankind is doing to the earth’s environment. Speaking at the Humans Unifying Global Solutions project in his role as UN Messenger, Leonardo DiCaprio talks about irregular natural disasters which occurred from 2000 – 2009. World disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis are playing a crucial role in poverty levels rising, he specifies. Dicaprio talks about how it’s essential to build a future where education, clean water/food, shelter, and basic medical care are human rights for all. Yet, this is not possible with global climate destruction. Dicaprio continues to say, the first people that are already feeling the effects are the world’s poor and most marginalized (Dicaprio, 2016). For much of the speech, Dicaprio refers to the UN report of climate change (2015); he says that from this report scientists have revealed that 2015 was the hottest year on record. Experts have also stressed that in Africa alone, 50 million children will be malnourished in the coming decades. Currently in Europe, countries are struggling to deal with the influx of millions of refugees. In Asia a high proportion of the people live on coastal lines; when sea levels rise what will happen to them? DiCaprio concludes to the millions of people watching that it is crucial for humanity to manifest change and for man to welcome the solutions.

The American Linguist Noam Chomsky speaks about ‘How Climate Change became a Liberal Hoax’. The highly regarded professor from MIT specifies that global warming is continuing to be regarded as a leftwing fabrication. Chomsky says the right have orchestrated a public relations campaign to play down the rationale of climate science, from this, thousands if not millions of Americans are unsure if climate change is really occurring. An example of this in everyday life is how meteorologists read the weather which is published on the frontpage of newspapers. This is considered a significant contribution to the world’s current climate; thus it plays a part in how the media continue to dumb down society around the actuality of the climate situation, Chomsky explains. America is divided into two parties (Democrats and Republicans); this division has never before been so far apart in comparison to recent times. Large extents of the Republican Party are global warming deniers and they tend to create a sceptical opinion of climate change scientists in the public eye. This feeds into big business and banks which benefits the evolution of climate change, and the rise of the right. Chomsky concludes by saying:

If this was happening in some small country, it wouldn’t matter much. But when it’s happening in the richest, most powerful country in the world, it’s a danger to our species survival” (Chomsky, 2010).

Al Gore spoke at a Ted Talk conference in 2016 about climate change. The founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project posed three questions to the observers in the crowd. Moreover, Gore also explained that humanity should be very optimistic about the future of our planet and illustrates within the body of the questions that change will happen over time as power begins to shift towards renewable energy (Gore, 2016). The first question was Do we really need to change? The answer is a resounding yes; in view of the fact of what is already happening to the earth’s atmosphere. Gore describes that human activity   would spew 110 million tons of heat trapping greenhouse gases into the environment each day. He continues to express that from this heat trapping ocean warming continues, which increases the water vapour dispense and energy into the earth’s atmosphere (biggest sources of greenhouse gases – thawing permafrost, industrial processes, crop and forest burning, oil production, air transport, fertilization, industrial agricultural, coal mining) (Gore, 2016). This leads to irregular storms, extreme floods, pervasive longer droughts, mud slides, and widespread forest fires. Also Gore demonstrates that from crazy weather patterns geopolitical consequences also take place. The drought in Syria form 2006 to 2010 destroyed 60 percent of all rural livestock and 80 percent of all farmlands. From this, 1.5 million Syria refugees collided with another 1.5 million refugees from the Iraq war because the drought forced people to leave their homes and move to nearby cities which were already overcrowded. Additionally, Gore says pandemic disease will also become even more widespread from the climate crises. Tropical diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, and Dengue Fever start to disperse to different continents where it was previously unknown, as global warming hits all levels of life. Gore expresses that 50 percent of living wildlife species will be extinct by the end of this century.

Gore concludes the Ted talk on a high with two questions that relate to hope. The first being can we change? The Climate Reality Project chairman claims that change is starting to present itself everywhere as renewable energy is growing at exponential pace. He continues to say that the cost of solar energy has also dropped by 10 percent each year over the last 30 years; the expansion of renewable energy could very well be the biggest business opportunity currently in the world. Gore’s final question was will we change? He issued that in December 2015, 195 countries decided upon the Paris agreement; this was in regards to addressing climate change and to limit carbon emissions (after several failed attempts). Countries around the globe from Australia to the United States are beginning to add greater capacity for renewable energy (69 percent of new electrical capacity added in the US last year came from renewables, Gore 2016). With this, Gore is hopeful a brighter future is coming for all of life’s only home.

“No challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change — and that no other country on Earth is better equipped to lead the world towards a solution.”- (Obama, 2015)

Over the past 8 years the United States of America’s president Barack Obama has been extremely involved in protecting the environment and addressing the impacts of climate change. In fact, under Obama’s leadership the US has done more to tackle climate change than ever before, whilst the economy’s growth has also benefited. In Obama’s 8 year tenure carbon emissions has decreased by 9 percent and the economy has ascended by 10 percent. What’s more, in the year of 2016 electricity generated from wind (45k year) and solar (165k year) has soared. At the same time, US oil imports has lessened from 11,115 to 4,711(Thousand barrels per day). Society would consider Obama to be a very good motivational speaker, at the Climate Change conference in Paris he gave a speech to world leaders and the thousands if not millions watching at home about how to tackle climate change. The US president said no nation on earth, whether they may be large/small or wealthy/ poor can escape climate change. Obama says everyone’s prosperity, health, safety, are in jeopardy, and time is running out (Obama, 2016). Although, reversal is in our hands as he quotes John F. Kennedy:

“Our problems are man-made; therefore they may be solved by man.”

Obama then stated that the American government is making its largest ever investment into renewable energy, with this it aims to double the capacity of wind and other renewable energy sources. Throughout the speech Obama promotes wind turbines, hybrid cars, solar panels and provides that by 2020 the developed nations will be slashing emissions and investing highly in renewable energy (Obama, 2016). However, in light of the fact president elect Trump and the Republican Party don’t believe in climate change, multiple public politicians continue to battle against erroneous perspectives. For instance, US senator Bernie Sanders promotes tackling of environmental issues on a regular basis. Sanders would employ the platform Facebook and Twitter with facts and knowledge about global warming. The US senator attacks the Republican Party regularly, on one particular occasion he exposed the right in front of the US senate. He expressed that it’s confusing as to why Republicans want to remain feeding the fossil fuel industry whilst scientists have proved that it is manmade effects that are the problem (Sanders, 2015). Sanders declared that the science should not be ignored and attacking the issue as a fabrication created by world superpowers is insane. Cancer, Alzheimer’s and all other serious illnesses receive respect from the right; however, global warming fails to. Sanders finalises the statement by saying the greatest threat to national security is climate change, with this, the rise of terrorism in western world cultivates:

“If we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world, they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops, and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.” (Sanders, 2015)

The conversation of climate change seems to be the popular choice when it comes to public figures; thus a major cultural shift is underway. The breakthrough of the Paris agreement was one of the greatest achievements between world nations of all time. Social Networks also played their part in the growth of climate action commentary; it has skyrocketed 700% over the last 3 years (The Climate Change Project, 2015). Hollywood figures regularly stand up in the fight against global warming and use social media as stage. Celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Mark Ruffalo, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leonardo Dicaprio help inspire millions to take action. For example Ruffalo, an environmental activist, has created The Solutions Project (Renewable energy vision). This advocates for a better, cleaner and hopeful future for all. Furthermore, Alba promotes eco-friendly products to consumers as the co-founded of The Honest Company. Schwarzenegger posted on his Facebook page and said “I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change… It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science. I just hope that you’ll join me to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future”; This post received 125,000 shares. Notably In 2016, Leonardo Dicaprio helped create a documentary named Before the Flood. The Oscar winner travels to 5 continents and the arctic to explore the effects of climate change; this video was viewed 44,980,751 times (YouTube).

Climate sceptics may say public figures are not scientists, but they are cultural stars that can make real change in an area of despair. The common interest is that we are all human beings who genuinely should care for the future of the planet. Each person’s voice matters in fighting for a cleaner energy future. Whether you’re a blockbuster star, a politician or anybody that’s somebody, wanting to make a real difference should be innate. If climate change, as a global problem, is to be resolved, more support and awareness must be generated to increase mobilisation and public figures such as those discussed play a pivotal part in this narrative.



Before the Flood (2016) – full National Geographic documentary film with Leonardo DiCaprio (2016) Available at: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x50uz4q (Accessed: 7 December 2016).

Gore, A. (2008) New thinking on the climate crisis. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_s_new_thinking_on_the_climate_crisis (Accessed: 7 December 2016).

Nation, T. and Productions, T.E. (2015) Noam Chomsky: How climate change became a ‘liberal Hoax’. Available at: https://www.thenation.com/article/noam-chomsky-how-climate-change-became-liberal-hoax/ (Accessed: 7 December 2016).

Whitehouse. 2017. A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change | whitehouse.gov. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-record/climate. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Bernie Sanders Attacks Republicans On Climate Change – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDcTAxNhtDw. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

YouTube. 2017. President Obama’s Climate Change Speech – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7mxYzCfkb8. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Leonardo dicaprio speak up for ban on beef – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3ZJmO0sc1A. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

WebEcoist. 2017. 7 Celebrity Environmentalists & Their Activism – WebEcoist. [ONLINE] Available at: http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/02/14/green-celebrities-activism/. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Climate Change Animation Shows Devastating Effects – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7jpMG5DS4Q. [Accessed 06 January 2017].

Design, Uncategorized, Writings

The Meaning of Life: A Brighter Future – How the Creative Industries can Change how we Educate.





“The industries of the twenty-first century will depend increasingly on the generation of knowledge through creativity and innovation”- (Landry & Bianchini, 1995)

Now, more than ever, we require creativity in all avenues of education and life. The world around us is changing at rapid speed, the challenges and obstacles we face are unprecedented conditions of our social standing. In spite of the fact, modern day alterations to society continue to transpire; the traditional classroom has remained unchanged in the last century. Life challenges man to solely utilize imagination, originality, and innovation, but shouldn’t education nurture these required lifestyle abilities? Education’s aim should be to provide our youth with opportunities to allow their knowledge and inner capabilities to blossom. However, the schooling system that surrounds digital natives (contemporary educators) is failing to produce creative minds and independent thinkers. Its ignorance is having an adverse effect on the Creative Industries’ growth.

From the beginning, the ability to be creative is special as each human entity has this innate talent. Preserving this skill is a quality that the world requires for evolution; although it continues to become overlooked in contemporary education as it has in previous generations. In order for people to prosper in areas such as arts, crafts, design, photography, and film, their innate aptitude for creativity needs to be cultivated in resistance to the current negligent system. Noam Chomsky speaks about the purpose of education; the highly regarded professor specifies that “the goal of it is for the student to acquire the capacity to inquire, to create, to innovate, to challenge – that’s education”(Chomsky, 2009). This system is not geared towards creative exploration and independent thought – with this it has lost its purpose. I do render that the prime motive of schooling is forgotten. However, I am positive that the growth of the Creative Industries can help change how we educate. A brighter future is with human creativity. It will only flourish by giving it a chance to grow within others; this is fulfilled by judging life from your own perspective. I plan to seek how the Creative Industries can counteract the repetitious cycle of failure, and be welcomed into Ireland’s education system. I attest that creativity can be paramount in any industry, any field and any way of life. This essay aims to show how creativity can be one of the driving factors of our future schooling in Ireland.

The Problem:

Most students never get to explore the full range of their abilities and interests … Education are the system that’s supposed to develop our natural abilities and enable us to make our way in the world. Instead, it is stifling the individual talents and abilities of too many students and killing their motivation to learn”. – (Robinson, 2013)

Creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, speaks about the core problems of education. Robinson argues that children are natural learners and explains curiosity is the engine of achievement. Learning should be the essence of education, whereas teaching is a creative profession that sadly continues to educate kids in factual work. Teachers should conceptualise, stimulate, provoke and engage with minors in the learning aspect – rather they continue to labour for a system that is broken, Robinson continues to specify. Robinson talks about a formula of education and learning; this method needs to be conjoint at all times. Thus, the role of a teacher should be to facilitate learning capabilities. However, Robinson conveys that the dominate culture of the education model is not concerned about learning but rather testing. Standardised testing has its merit’s but it should not be the dominant prevalent culture of education, and unfortunately it provokes a routine algorithm that is failing to exercise our minds in curiosity, learning or imagination.

You can’t let teachers control the classroom. That’s teaching to test; then the teachers are disciplined. They do what you tell them. Their salaries depend on it; their jobs depend on it. They become sociopaths like everyone else. And you have a society where it’s only, “Look after me; I’ll forget everyone else.” – (Chomsky, 2009)

In a semi structured interview, with Daniel Falcone about education in the 21st century, Chomsky provides insights into the missing elements of education – Teaching, creativity, imagination, and independence. Chomsky illustrates that children are naturally creative but this destructive system beats it out of them by puberty, and by adulthood it’s vanished. In addition, the purpose of education is disappearing year after year; the professor believes the topic (education) fails to exist in the 21st Century. Chomsky explains there are two concepts of schooling. The first is lost as modern day education fails to help children to learn on their own accord. The second is indoctrination; he explains children should be placed in a framework and nurtured by orders that promote highly simplistic ways of learning, and this will assist in the eventual blossoming of innate talents. Conformity is how we currently define our educational institutions. This results in disengagement, injustice, and failure; as we continue to propel toward high stress levels and growing prevalence of dropping out.

“It doesn’t matter what we cover, it matters what you discover.” – (Chomsky, 2009)

In terms of the problem, its relevance is how education has not continued its purpose, which is to always aim towards educating about knowledge and continue to widen it. I believe that the core issues of education arise from the above principles. We are never productive or efficient with our time or workload because the content proves to be dull. We are overwhelmed with this repetitious cycle of work that has no value to us or fails to entice us – rather we should transcend work towards play (instruction toward learning). Having a fresh perspective of your goals, plans and mainly talents, will result in the core meaning of education emerging. This begins with the model that is predisposed upon us. We need to adapt from stress, and welcome difficult tasks and challenges. Notably, I do perceive the solution starts in our schools. If education doesn’t modify and transform for the betterment of its occupiers, then a lack of creativity will forever be acquired by the human race. Sir Ken Robinson concludes his Tedtalk (How to escape Education’s Death Valley) by providing how we can embrace a different metaphor. Robinson Illustrates –

“If you take an area, a school, a district, and you change the conditions, give people a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities, you cherish and value relationships between teachers and learners, you offer people discretion to be creative and schools that were once bereft spring to life.” – (Robinson, 2013)

The Solution:

To inspire creativity in the current classroom it is essential to foster the talent continuously throughout schooling. In return the child acquires inner qualities – such as positive mentality, accurate social qualities, and an emotionally active brain. Providing an adequate platform so children can problem solve and inspect tasks will boost morale, self confidence, and create new ways of thinking. As such, the evolution of the divergent thinker becomes a frequent norm. This is attainable for artists in art and dancers that dance. However, to maintain a creative mind we need to encourage exploration for the duration of education by adding a multitude of ways to be creative. Incorporating creativity in all avenues of Irish schools will benefit our existence substantially, especially as technology continues to advance­. Creativity is part of our fabric, yet it divides us on all levels. The objective is for the Creative Industries to pave the way in changing how we currently educate.

The formulation of a system in which an individual’s creative capabilities can be harnessed and enhanced is imperative if new pedagogies are to be developed.  In 2013, education scientist Sugata Mitra at a Ted talk conference speaks about ‘The Future of Education’ and how we can all tackle the problems of the contemporary system. Mitra says the Schools as we know them are obsolete’ (Mitra, 2013) – the system is broken, it is no longer required. The expert educational scientist provides insights into schooling of tomorrow, and how ‘Knowing will become obsolete’ (Mitra, 2013). This is because technology is rapidly advancing at a speed humans cannot comprehend; information is processed faster than ever before. Mitra says to embrace and encourage learning is the aim of future schooling. However, threats to knowing and learning continue to transpire through discipline and examination. Mitra concludes by specifying our prime obligation is to let learning happen in the modern day classroom, conducting that teachers are just required to pose the questions and admire the answers supplied by education goers. Mitra’s future wish –

“So what’s my wish? My wish is that we design the future of learning. We don’t want to be spare parts for a great human computer, do we? So we need to design a future for learning. My wish is to help design a future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their wonder and their ability to work together. But I want you for another purpose. You can do Self-Organized Learning Environments at home, in the school, outside of school, in clubs. (Mitra, 2013)

Today in Finland, schools fail to occupy standardised testing. In exchange, they have a broader schooling syllabus. Finland doesn’t obsess about Maths, Science and Literature exams. Rather, they rank Humanities, Physical Education and the Arts on equal conditions. As a result, Finland has one of the most prosperous education systems in the world (Brightside, 2016). In addition, Finland has a very low dropout rate in their school pattern, because they combat issues if their youth are struggling (Brightside, 2016).By 2020, Finland’s education system plans to remove subjects from their syllabus and instead of individual disciplines, students will study world events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format (Brightside, 2016). On the strength of the pupil’s topic choices, they will hopefully gain knowledge into future ambitions and inner capabilities. Finally, the format of student-teacher interaction and communication will also be revamped. No student will sit behind desks, rather they will work in small groups in order to problem solve by discussing pervasive issues. Furthermore, the group’s mission will be to utilize their creative and communication skills to better the individual’s inner talents. With this, it is envisaged that a high degree of learning from others is obtained (peer-to-peer learning).


Figure 1: Picture of Finish school classroom

Currently, Ireland has plans in place to abandon the old Junior Cert cycle for a new modernised (Junior Cycle) educational experience for its occupiers of the Irish schooling system. The current model is outdated and out of touch with other international education patterns. English will become a split between continuous assignment (40%) and examination (60%). The new criteria will put high emphasis on active learning techniques, digital literacy and study drama extracts, film, poetry and short novels. All students will study 8 – 10 subjects. By 2015, Science will be updated, followed by new specifications in Irish and business in 2016 (The Irish Times, 2014). Additional subjects such as Craft and Design, Modern Languages, and New Art will also be added to the rebuilding of the Junior Cert Cycle in 2017 (The Irish Times, 2014). Although this is a step in the right direction, whether these new measures will unsure the revival of a learning environment is debatable. I feel minors in the current school system will continuously become disengaged from the education curriculum due to standardised examinations still being paramount.


Figure 2 Picture of Irish Leaving Cert examination

The new framework for the Junior Cycle has 22 statements of learning; it will be interesting to see if these statements help reform and change.


Creativity is the nature of success, the pinnacle of expression, and it encourages empathy. Additionally, this inner talent fails to prosper in others because schools educate us with facts and past knowledge that is somewhat not always a modern requirement. In Ireland, the Leaving Certificate Art curriculum has remained unchanged since 1972, in spite of multiple requests for revision and the natural evolution of Art itself. This failure contributes to the decline in numbers of students taking art as subject (from 10,783 in 2011 to 9,747 in 2016). An overhauled curriculum is the required implementation and reform of the entire Leaving Certificate art spectrum, not just the assessment refinement. There continues to be a noticeable lack of interest, and a decline in research in this key area. Online media has recently promoted a campaign for the urgent reform of Leaving Certificate Art; A petition was created to raise awareness and acquire involvement from the masses (responders 2515 – aim 3000). This is a perfect example of the problem that still exists; the solution is the modernisation of Art, with this, where a generated awareness for change is promoted. Yet, the system continues to show how subject hierarchies of English, Maths & Science are commanding over Drama, Dance & Art and how this is damaging the growth of the creative mind.


Figure 3: Logo of Educate Together educational system

An alternative solution to the current system is called ‘Educate Together’. The new school strives towards creating a healthy equality based and inspirational environment for the children of Ireland. High quality learning is achieved from their ethos; where the modernised model has disregarded any issues in regards to social, cultural or religious backgrounds or beliefs. In addition, the Educate Together curriculum is based on learning about equality and diversity, thus a continuous creative nature between its pupils and teachers is attained. Furthermore, at primary level the Educate Together framework directs its learning toward moral and spiritual development, equality, justice, belief systems, and finally, ethics and the environment. At second level schools, alongside ethical education, they base their learning on diversity, difference, exploration into world views and making sense of values. With this, I believe we will advance toward a brighter future for education in Ireland. In essence, I wholeheartedly feel that nurturing creativity in education and integrating it into society and the changing world of work will play a pivotal role in mankind’s future.


The contemporary programmed framework continues to neglect an educational future that is brighter for its inhabitants. Although, experts and new system models are progressing towards alternatives, the current widespread structure is still at the core of schooling. The general consensus between Robinson, Chomsky and Mitra is that learning, creativity and independence is the way forward, such that, they all believe the purpose of education is forgotten.

To affect a humane difference whilst succeeding in areas of serenity and gratification should be the central motive of education. Instead, we have this mirage of unhappiness that is manufactured by the current labourers and creators of the western education paradigm; a positive contrast is to assemble a recipe of freedom, empathy and values that will provide the generations to come with change.

To modernise the educational paradigm will benefit Ireland’s escalating economy substantially. Our nation’s Creative Industries pursuits include maintaining multiple creative hubs, building Generation C so it is on par with other international countries, and closing the gap between male and female income. What’s more, they also aim to promote creative activism to combat prevailing issues such as inequality, homelessness, environment struggles and political divisions. To have a broad and diverse curriculum, that embraces change and self sufficiency will supply a more creative education in Ireland. The meaning of life will merely be fulfilled by experimenting with talents that are unique. With this, a brighter future awaits the upcoming generations.

logo(Designed by Thomas Noone)

Professional Issues in Creative Media, Uncategorized

Surveillance vs Activism.

“In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous? ” – Al Gore

As I write this blog on surveillance are the higher powers monitoring my behaviours and activities, surely not! Watching people on electronic equipment such as CCTV, mobile phones and internet traffic has become a standard reoccurrence, whereby observing subjects can be achieved on any form of technology methods – low or high. Defining surveillance is believed usually for the sole purpose of influence decisions, protection, managing progress, and mainly to survey our ventures. Government entities are the main consumers of observing information with the investigation of crime, theorist’s ideologies and impeding disturbances of the status quo. I perceive surveillance as a violation of privacy, an act of corruption, thus liberal activists oppose this idea of monitoring humanity. Furthermore I pose the question on how dominant surveillance might be and ponder on its existence!

The query of mass surveillance being prevalent is a certainty. It’s often cited as preventing terrorism, social unrest, or national security in jeopardy. On the contrary the perception of mass surveillance popularity arises from contravene privacy rights, undermining our freedom, and a limitation of liberty.  Mans fear ascends towards this proposal of totalitarianism – the governments control all segments of society, authority and private existence.

2013 saw Edward Snowden tested the practice of mass surveillance in governmental organisations. Snowden leaked numerous documents on global surveillance disclosures in law administrations; this propelled a worldwide debate on privacy; as a result liberal activists questioned our rights in the digital age. Snowden’s pursuit was to provide the media with the workings/activities of American intelligence corporations, in relation to phone and extensive internet surveillance. In 2013 as Snowden abscond from the US; the guardian assured the world that the National Security Agency (NSA) was accessing millions of Americans phones. Later it revealed that the NSA acquired 95 percent of the globes population telephone records. In addition the NSA tapped into massive internet corporations (Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft) to observe online tracker communication – this was called Prism (surveillance programme). Snowden has been charged with theft of government information, unwarranted data collecting from the NSA and exposing the truths of classified intelligences documents to outside sources – he remains on the run.

NSA surveillance timeline –

  • Three billion phone calls for the last 5 years in the US (previous to 2013) the NSA collected information on this platform.
  • In that time each out going or receiving phone call plus emails to an American citizen the agency monitored the data provided.
  • All search history we utilized on the internet the NSA seized.
  • Xkeystore gathers 40 billion internet records each month and stores it.
  • Snowden also revealed that in his short time at the NSA he could tap into any internet activity in America, even the presidents.
  • The immense quantity of the data acquired by the NSA is so large the damage is unknown.
  • Barak Obama recently decided to examine the NSA phone records and lower the volume down.
  • Nevertheless still today they are collecting phone information of millions of innocent American citizens.  Better yet, they are so connected with the internet, email and other alternative surveillance sectors that they will never end this inhumane threat.

Banksy is a subjective street artist from England; the political activist with a secretive identity has endured fascination from all around the globe. War, poverty and control are Banksy’s subject matter as he reveals the media authoritative power from his satirical street art. Banksy is a credit to the activist world, below he provides society with a mural on surveillance culture. The street artist is conveying how the governments are spying on us and our traffic on social networking platforms. Denoting that the phone box is relating to the Snowden affair and how the system is broken.


I conclude that people are becoming more aware of the current social structural chains and its hidden agendas. Activism has evolved into an epidemic in today’s world, in any form of medium – liberal or political activism is established. We are beginning to want social change by all uniting in a conscious revolution. This is only the beginning – from beneath them we will devour.

“It could be that our longing for Revolution is like our longing for perfect love, the impulse we all have for union that was for so long met by religion. However we assign these yearnings, it is difficult to ignore the obvious need for change. Some of us will ascribe it to romantic love, some to consumerism, some to utopianism. It doesn’t really matter. What is important is that for the first time in history we have the means to implement a truly representative system, the means to globally communicate it, and the conditions that require it.”Russell Brand