Developing ‘active citizens’: Arts Award, creativity and impact
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 16:21 authored by Yvonne Robinson, Anna Paraskevopoulou, Sumi Hollingworth
Creativity has become the new watchword in UK academic and policy circles. Within this context, policy discussions about the arts and their impact emphasise economic benefits over educational value, drawing clear distinctions between quantifiable or ‘hard’ measures of impact and those described as ‘soft’, less tangible and lacking a strong evidence base. Departing from the binary logics often underpinning notions of arts impacts, this paper is novel in exploring the entwined relationship between impacts seen as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’. We draw on research examining the links between arts education and young people’s future trajectories and use the concept of ‘active citizenship’ to show how informal, softer skills fostered through creative learning are an important part of citizenship making for some young people. Participants’ accounts show how improvements in soft skills can give young people opportunities for agency, which shape progression pathways leading to measurable change. This finding is directly relevant in the context of evaluations of arts impacts in the UK and abroad, and should encourage further examination of the impact of creative learning on transfer of skills as well as policy developments in this area.
Publication titleBritish Educational Research Journal
- Accepted version