UWS Master of Education Artist Teacher Programme

UWS Master of Education Artist Teacher Programme



Lesley Butterworth National Society for Education in Art and Design

The central ambition of the Artist Teacher Scheme is to dismantle the perception of contradiction between the complementary, symbiotic roles of artist and teacher.  The Scheme rests on the premise that teachers in the various disciplines of the visual arts who maintain their own creativity within the context of contemporary professional artistic practices can be significantly more effective in the classroom or studio and more likely to be satisfied with their work in education.  It proposes the teacher as artist working alongside students in joint creative enquiry.  The courses in its programme - short, intermediate and award bearing – are devised and delivered by unique partnerships between galleries of contemporary art and university schools of art and design and/or education and, though seldom full-time, offer ring-fenced time away from the school context.  They become communities of learning in which teachers can immerse themselves and concentrate on developing personal thinking and practice in a focused and supported environment without distraction.

The Artist Teacher Scheme posits a professional who operates unselfconsciously and confidently as both artist and as teacher; a person who does not see ‘artist’ and ‘teacher’ as mutually exclusive concepts.  That is to say, someone who is her/himself a learner, an experimenter, someone who wants to find out, test, discover, wonder, figure out alongside pupils.  If one accepts the assumption that a teacher will have the kind of regular and sustained direct contact with a wider range of pupils than an artist engaged for a short, or even prolonged, project cannot have, then the value of the concept of teacher as artist, of artist as teacher, becomes clearer.

There is now overwhelming evidence that the immersive model of professional development offered by the Artist Teacher Scheme can make striking and lasting differences to artist teacher confidence, development and achievement and in turn a significant difference to pupil attainment.

The Artist Teacher Scheme has embraced, and thrives on digital technologies and social networking. No more so than the MEd Artist Teacher at UWS which has online blended learning programmes supporting candidates in seven different countries.

Lesley Butterworth is General Secretary of the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), August, 2017



Diarmuid McAuliffe University of the West of Scotland | John Ferry Glasgow Museums

This exhibition marks a significant moment in the professional development of those exhibiting; all of whom are now graduates of the UWS Master of Education Artist Teacher Programme. It is also significant in terms of UWS’s partnership with Glasgow Museums and the National Society for Education in Art and Design who together, since it’s inception in 2010, have helped grow nationally and internationally, the Artist Teacher Scheme in Scotland.

Within Glasgow Museums, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) has become the programmes natural home sharing a mutual concern for the place of  contemporary art and thereby contemporary issues in education - key drivers of the Artist Teacher Scheme.

Over the course of their studies these exhibiting Artist Teachers have been deeply engaged in a symbiotic relationship with thinking and making giving critical ideas visual form within their professional roles in schools and in other settings.  Through the MEd programme they have helped shift the axis of art in education away from passive routinised practices towards more active, critical and responsive practices.

For these Artist Teachers the practical and the critical are inseparable as they make visible and make active a critical pedagogy fit for our times and the education of our young.

Diarmuid McAuliffe is Programme Leader for the UWS Artist Teacher Programme | John Ferry is Digital & New Media Manager for Glasgow Museums, August, 2017

For further information on the Artist Teacher Master of Education Programme, which recruits twice yearly (February and September) please visit