The Professional Curriculum and Its Discontents

Dryburgh, Emil Kaj Scheffmann
Waerea, Layne
Item type
Degree name
Master of Philosophy
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Auckland University of Technology

How has the professional curriculum associated with neoliberalism transformed the higher education of art, and what alternatives are emerging within and beyond the University? This thesis looks outward, toward international theory and practice that have critically challenged the University-based model of higher arts education, and considers, how might alternative arts education (AAE) emerge within the Moana Pacific?

This thesis considers two cornerstone pedagogies of the Professional Curriculum through an analysis of ‘the critique’ and ‘the degree show’, before exploring the emergent field of AAE. Reflecting the researcher's active participation in AAE in the previous decade, this thesis focuses on two AAE initiatives: Open School East (2013 –) and Samoa House Library (2019 –), situated in the United Kingdom and Aotearoa, respectively. Within the thesis, the so-called ‘Educational Turn’ is posed as a bridge between the University Academy and its emergent alternatives. The theoretical moment offering a valuable intersection between contemporary art and pedagogy that proved foundational to initiatives of AAE in the last decade.

The thesis calls upon creative practice throughout and elaborates on the researcher’s varied practice in art, education and politics. The creative language delves into the thesis as an expanded form through a series of documents, illustrations and interventions that perform the aesthetics of an annotated textbook. Here, the creative act augments and challenges the academic text, as the researcher embodies the practice of AAE through the (re)imagined form of a thesis.

Publisher's version
Rights statement