Bio: Mary Davies is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Dyslexia. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 3 publications receiving 9 citations.
04 Apr 2007
TL;DR: In this paper, a taxonomy of visual indicators of dyslexia/dyspraxia is presented, and the application of the taxonomy in the interpretation of students' drawings is described.
Abstract: This paper reports on recent research undertaken by the Royal College of Art (RCA) and the Faculty of Art and Design, Swansea Institute, University of Wales, where the hypothesis that dyslexic and/or dyspraxic students might be identifiable through indicators present in their drawings is tested. A taxonomy of visual indicators of dyslexia/dyspraxia is presented, and the application of the taxonomy in the interpretation of students’ drawings is described. (From now on, the term ‘dyslexia’ includes dyspraxia too). A mixture of dyslexic and non-dyslexic students from both institutions were asked to make drawings in response to specific instructions given in both written and oral forms, and the resultant drawings were analysed for indicators of dyslexia as tabled in the taxonomy. The authors swapped sets of drawings, and neither knew which students were dyslexic. It was found that the drawings of those students who had been statemented as dyslexic were correctly identified in over 70% of the cases. This result has encouraged the authors to repeat the experiment with a larger student cohort, in order to confirm the hypothesis that indicators of dyslexia are present in the drawings of some dyslexic students.
TL;DR: This paper found that poor drawing may be a particular problem for students with dyslexia (and a high proportion of art school students is dyslexic), and that poor drawers are less good at copying simple angles and proportions.
Abstract: Some art students, despite being at art school, cannot draw very well, and would like to be able to draw well. It has been suggested that poor drawing may be a particular problem for students with dyslexia (and a high proportion of art school students is dyslexic). In Study 1 we studied 277 art students, using a questionnaire to assess self-perceived drawing ability and a range of background measures, including demography, education, a history of dyslexia, a self-administered spelling test, and personality and educational variables. In Study 2 we gave detailed drawing tests to a sample of 38 of the art students, stratified by self-rated drawing ability and spelling ability, and to 30 control participants. Students perceiving themselves as good at drawing did indeed draw better than self-perceived poor drawers, although the latter were still better than non-art student controls. In neither Study 1 nor Study 2 did skill at drawing relate to dyslexia or spelling ability, and neither did drawing ability relate to any of our wide range of background measures. However Study 2 did show that drawing ability was related both to ability at copying simple angles and proportions (using the “house” task of Cain, 1943), and also to visual memory (as suggested by Jones, 1922), poor drawers being less good at both immediate and delayed recall of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure.
18 Oct 2017
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identify six key reasons explaining the social phenomenon that many practitioners find it so difficult to make a living in the arts by applying two acknowledged analysis tools in strategic business management.
Abstract: This study identifies six key reasons explaining the social phenomenon that many practising fine artists find it so difficult to make a living in the arts. Due to a marked paucity of research explaining this social phenomenon, the study at hand investigates the internal factors related to artists’ personality, motivation, and skills as well as various external factors influencing artists’ working and business environment by applying two acknowledged analysis tools in strategic business management. The literature findings highlight four external threat factors mainly responsible for a very challenging working and business environment affecting practising fine artists’ chances of professional success. Consequently, two internal factors – notably artists’ motivation and ambition to conduct business and a living in the arts as well as their developed skills – turn out to be key factors to successfully deal with these external threat factors. In this context, three research aims related to practising artists’ professional education and preparation arise: the identification of crucial skills to successfully make a living in the arts as practising artists, the status of their professional education at higher education institutions (HEIs), and the capability of arts incubators as alternative education programmes to prepare large numbers of practising fine artists for professional success. The approach to investigation is exploratory and inductive with a cross-sectional survey strategy. To identify the crucial skills for professional success in the arts, surveys of up to 219 fine art lecturers, 168 fine art undergraduates, and 149 commercial galleries are conducted. To report on the status of fine artists’ educational preparation, 87 undergraduate degree programmes, 55 post-graduate programmes, and 46 extracurricular training offerings at HEIs are investigated. The study focuses mainly on the UK and Germany. These countries are selected due to their significantly different market sizes and reputation for the purpose of identifying differences in market challenges and professional preparations faced by fine artists. To analyse arts incubators’ capability in preparing large numbers of practising fine artists for a professional career, 92 arts incubation programmes around the globe are analysed and nine structured interviews with practising fine artists are conducted. The investigation of the crucial skills for fine artists’ professional success highlights in particular the development of an entrepreneurial mindset as well as of seven skills. Research on arts education shows evidence that fine art graduates are hardly equipped with this skillset and mindset due to HEIs’ lack of focus on the professional careers of practising artists. The analysis of arts incubation programmes illustrates serious limitations in supporting larger numbers of practising fine artists in their professional endeavours. The research findings stimulate the discussion in, and contribute to, knowledge in the fields of artists’ professional preparation, arts entrepreneurship, and the redesigning of fine art curriculum to purposefully prepare fine art graduates for an entrepreneurial and professional career as practising artists.
TL;DR: This article explored how the qualitative lived experience of dyslexia was implicated in degree choice and found that the influence of school and family, influence of education, and having a passion for art were three superordinate themes.
Abstract: Increasing numbers of students in Higher Education (HE) have dyslexia and are particularly over represented in the visual and creative arts. While dyslexia has been associated with artistic talent, some applicants may perceive their academic opportunities as limited because of negative learning experiences associated with their dyslexia. This study explored how the qualitative lived experience of dyslexia was implicated in degree choice. Transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 13 arts students provided data for an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three superordinate themes emerged which can be described under the broad headings: (1) Influence of school and family, (2) Dyslexia as a strength, (3) Having a passion for art. The data from eight students clearly suggested that they had actively chosen to study art because of a long standing interest and acknowledged talent. The others had perceived their academic options as otherwise limited. However, for all participants, studying and practisi...
31 May 2016
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a practice-centred teaching method for collaborative writing for design teams at M-level in higher education (HE) by using Approaches, Practices and Tools (APTs) across three case study workshops.
Abstract: This thesis offers and evaluates collaborative writing practices for teams of Design students at M-Level in Higher Education (HE). The research begins by asking why writing is included in current art and design HE, and identifies an assumption about the role of writing across the sector derived from a misreading of the 1960 and 1970 Coldstream Reports. As a result, drawing on recommendations that were made in the Reports for non-studio studies to be complementary to art and design practice in HE, I focus on how teams of design students can complement their design skills with collaborative writing. Some studies for addressing how design students learn from writing in HE already exist, but none have established a practice-centred teaching method for collaborative writing for design teams at M-level. My research captures the effects of my Approaches, Practices and Tools (APTs) across three case study workshops. I compare these with the most common writing model in HE designed for text-based study in the humanities. My APTs use participants' designerly strengths to redesign how they can use writing to complement their practice. This provides learners with a means of identifying and creating their own situated writing structures and practices. I document how my practice-centred APTs position collaborative writing practices as a designerly mode of communication between design practitioners working in teams. I show it to be more complementary to practice and so more effective in comparison to models imported from the humanities. My explorations are carried out through two thesis sections. Section One is an in-depth literature-based rationale that critically informs my investigations. Section Two presents my methodologies and reports three case studies, in which I explore the emergent data collected through a range of qualitative methods, mapping and evaluative techniques. The findings are of importance to those teaching M-Level design courses.
TL;DR: In this article, the pedagogic potential of re-interpreting the problematics of traditional academic writing for arts students through a neurodiversity framework was assessed through case studies of the two primary dynamics evidenced in literature, both of which are at play in the teaching of non-visual concepts to art and design students.
Abstract: In the UK, Art and Design Higher Education currently faces multiple challenges regarding its validity, efficacy and cultural value. These challenges are tractable against a complex historical background of successive governmental agendas aimed at both widening social participation and increasing professionalization/standardization. A specific problematic in this context is the teaching of 'critical', 'theoretical', or 'cultural' studies components on undergraduate degrees especially where written outputs are viewed as separate to visual work. The complexity of equitable and effective instruction is increased by the high proportion of neurodiverse, as opposed to neurotypical, learners engaging with this sector of education.In this paper, the pedagogic potential of re-interpreting the problematics of traditional academic writing for arts students through a neurodiversity framework will be assessed through case studies of the two primary dynamics evidenced in literature, both of which are at play in the teaching of non-visual concepts to art and design students. Adopting a neurodiverse framework, so I will argue, undermines the most pernicious aspects of neoliberal management routed through competitive differences, and empowers students to access truly emancipatory forms of learning.