Developing a Meaningful Community of Practice: The Challenges and Opportunities of Revalidating a Degree Programme in Creative and Therapeutic Arts

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This poster will encapsulate some of the challenges and opportunities recognised through critical reflection and review of the trajectory and development of the BA(Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts over the past five years, as well as the exciting innovations recognised in developing the curriculum in an evidence based and student-informed revalidation activity. The history of the course will be briefly summarised to provide context to the revalidation activity, before presenting with the theoretical context to contemporary participatory arts practice. This will include exploration of the complementary and contrasting approaches of socially engaged art practice (Helguera, 2011; Thompson, 2012), inclusive arts practice (Fox and Macpherson), participatory arts practice (Matarasso, 2013; ArtWorks Cymru, 2015), arts in health (Fancourt, 2017) and therapeutic arts or art therapy (Rogers, 2000; Clements, Hughes and Stiller, 2015). The challenge of defining a diverse practice which draws from such rich and colourful perspectives is insightfully discussed by Swindells et al. (2016) and will be further touched upon in relation to the specific context of the course. The geographical context of the programme will also be considered, drawing from Welsh (Welsh Assembly Government, 2014, 2015; Donaldson, 2015) and UK (Department of Health, 2008, 2011) policy which demonstrates the relevance and value of this creative practice to strategic wellbeing agendas as well as USW policies on practice based, inclusive learning (USW, 2014, 2016) . The curriculum design will be contextualised in relation to experiential learning pedagogy (Mortimer, 2017) and inclusive practice literature (Grace and Gravestock, 2009; HEA, 2011), as well as relevant higher education policies (QAA, 2014; QAA, 2017). Critical discussion and questions around the future of the training and the discipline more broadly will be stimulated and encouraged, to further nurture and challenge future educators and practitioners in this exciting area of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2018
EventUSW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018 - USW Conference Centre, Treforest, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jun 201829 Jun 2018


ConferenceUSW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • revalidation
  • curriculum design
  • pedagogy
  • creative arts


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