Living artists: Identity, independence and engagement in Fine Art learning | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896



This article reports on recent research that aimed to identify what Fine Art students learn and how they learn. The study focused on a suite of courses accessible to a qualitative, empirical approach and was informed by contemporary perspectives on learning and knowledge, including sociocultural and situated learning theories. The discussion articulates the links between knowledge and learning in Fine Art, identifying the domain’s values and specialist pedagogies as well as the learner attributes fostered. Fine Art education was found to have particular strengths in: developing learner identities; personalizing learning to support independence; and promoting student engagement. These attributes are developed by participation in the Fine Art community of practice, which fosters the dispositional knowledge underpinning artistic identity. The specialist pedagogies involved are likely to be of wider interest to the higher education (HE) sector, as the strategies that support student engagement, independence and self-responsibility are potentially transferable.


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