Artists are increasingly recognized as making a significant contribution to young people’s creative learning.1 Yet claims for what artists achieve in education contexts can be based on untested assumptions regarding what artists are: artists are inherently and uniquely creative, artists are experts in making and doing, artists bring something new and different, for example. Arguably, these assumptions regarding practitioner-led creative learning stem from specific constructions – in the case of the visual artist, informed by art history and cultural theory. Each construction ascribes particular knowledge and skills to the artist, which has implications for what these practitioners are expected to ‘teach’ or share with learners, and the forms of engagement they engender with others. It stands to reason, therefore, that interrogating these constructions and how they translate into pedagogy can contribute to our understanding of how artists enhance creative learning.
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