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Teaching as Form Talks
Institute of Education, UCL, London
From 2017 until 2020 I gave an annual talk at the Institute of Education. The content of these talks changed every year, but always explored the connection between engaged pedagogy and social art making.
Talking about engagement to volunteers at Katsikas refugee camp, Greece, 2016

Action Research and Social Art

Teaching as Form evolved and adapted to the audience (PGCE students, MA Education students), responded to contemporary pedagogical issues and my Action Research into progressive creative education.

Progressive Creative education

In the first Teaching as Form Talk (and subsequent published essay), I explore how the engagement work I co-created with residents at the camp is a case study for progressive creative education.

Teaching as an art form

My teaching as form talks draw together the rich culture of socially engaged art (such as The Factory alternative art school I created above) and art making processes in the classroom.

I give practical examples and open up to discussion about wider issues that affect inclusive and critically engaged creative education (such as Prevent Strategy and British Values).

Creative accountability

I advocate for and offer alternative benchmarks for success that depart from the limitations of the Ofsted model.

Creative agency

My ‘Teaching as Form’ talks are a call to arms for creative educators and teachers to claim back and generate greater creative agency in the future.


Talking about Casual Terms at Encounters Film Festival at The Watershed Cinema Bristol in 2020
I have given talks to art and pedagogy students at various universities, colleges and schools in the UK and internationally.

I talk about my work at art galleries and artist run studios and to filmmakers and public audiences at film festivals.

I have also talked about my work and research process to museology and heritage professionals, researchers and the public in historic sites and online.

The role of giving talks in reflexive practice

Talking about the way in which I construct ideas and meaning in my work to public audiences is a really big part of how I refine and develop processes and outcomes.

Discussing the social and participatory relevance of my work and practice with different audiences opens up new interpretative dimensions.

Why talks and discussion shape the work

It’s a way for me to gain feedback on how work is encountered when shown completely out of context and to reflect on the framework in which the work was originally made and/or shown.

Talking to different audiences on acknowledged platforms honours and acknowledges the people who co-created the work who permit the work to be viewed, discussed and shared in public.

Talks, context and critical connections

Talking about my artistic practice and the wider themes to a range of people in different contexts often opens up the work to new or connected theoretical influences and critical frameworks.

Whilst I situate my work within the context of socially engaged art, there are processes and elements within my work and wider practice that resonate with different fields such as psychology, social research and museology.

By giving talks to diverse people in a range of settings I also gain further insight into the ways in which different contexts, institutions and specific fields of study shape and influence how culture is made and re-made generally.

Talks, legacy and change

Offering work (whether in hindsight or in progress) up for discussion and encouraging a range of perspectives to reflect and comment on the work is also a way of evolving the ethical considerations.

It is also an important way for the work to have greater reach and increases the opportunity for greater legacy since my work and working process seek more than symbolic change.