Integrated Visual Studies - A case study of student participation in a College of Education
Some educationalists feel that if students are given the opportunity to co-operate in determining the pattern and content of their own education they will be able to benefit by being active decision-makers during their period of initial training and, that they are then more likely to become confident and responsible teachers. This in turn could help students to develop self-determining attitudes in flexible situations in which their own interests are seen. to be important. Indeed, since Dewey, 'progressive' educators have stressed the importance of student participation in what goes on in education. In expr~ssing his views on student-centered learning Dewey criticized the traditional process of subject-centered teaching with its emphases on the acquirement of knowledge for its own sake. He advocated the use of activity methods and experimentation and also suggested that the student's personal interests should be taken into account.
In the writer's own department, staff and students have been experimenting with integrated work in Art and Design within the framework of the existing syllabus. The department is, to a large extent, organised as an integral teaching and learning unit in which flexibility and personal initiative are encouraged.