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Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1743-5234
  • E-ISSN: 2040-090X


The value of art education rests with its power to shape the ways people live their lives in art and visual culture beyond schools and schooling. A logical place to research the effectiveness of art education is to examine peoples' lives when they are outside school and after they have left school. The paper provides theoretical insights about the relative effectiveness of informal and formal pedagogy gained from biographical studies of the beyond-schooling lives of individuals who attended an unusual British secondary modern school during the 1950s and 1960s. Individuals' lives were influenced by a museum-like space, by informal contacts with individual from the art world, and visual cultural experiences at the margins of the art classroom more than they were influenced by the structured art curriculum. Biographical inquiry also provides a useful means for studying children who create their own visual culture based on comic books and other popular media. When researchers study informal contacts between students and teachers, their inquiry is set within a third inquiry site and it is directed to a third pedagogical site which is different from the self-initiated visual culture produced by students (the first pedagogical site) and formal art instruction (the second pedagogical site).


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