As part of the module Creative Industries and Cultural Policy that I’m currently studying for my MA (in Media and Creative Enterprise, at Birmingham City University), I have just finished reading an interesting article by David Buckingham and Ken Jones entitled New Labour’s Cultural Turn: Some Tensions in Contemporary Educational and Cultural Policy (1999, Journal of Education Policy, vol 16 no1, pp 1-14). Though ten years old and outdated in most part, it encouraged me to think about education policy in relation to creativity and culture.
The National Curriculum is perceived as restrictive and stifling, with little regard for diversity, free expression or appreciation of ‘culture’ (whichever way it is defined). My business idea (which is still in its early stages) aims to introduce a new way of learning into schools through the use of new technologies as well as arts and sport. What is perplexing for me is how my idea would hold up in the face of the decision makers, and whether the National Curriculum would approve. It is these issues which have encouraged me to look further in to education policy for my second assignment in this module.
The National Curriculum, incidentally, have just released a Primary Curriculum Review (which was of particular interest to me because my product is aimed at primary schools). The emphasis on creativity that has been trumpeted by New Labour since 1997 is nowhere to be seen in this document – a glaring omission. Why this is could be worth asking the QCDA.