The paradox of ‘teaching’ transformation in fine art studio practice: Assessment in the South African context

Dina Zoe Belluigi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


Underpinned by an awareness that education systems inherently maintain the status quo, this article explores a paradox at the heart of fine art studio teaching, learning and assessment in the postcolonial context of South Africa. The content of most current curricula evidences a concern with power, and the politics and problematics of representation. As such, encouragement of student engagement around and negotiation of notions of transformation, critical dialogue and identity is espoused. However, in the article it is argued that current approaches to assessment often unquestioningly replicate inherited systems, and in so doing, unwittingly reproduce systems of cultural capital that may be non-transformatory and non-pluralistic. Thus, because of the way assessment is practiced, that which is taught may be radically different from that which is experienced and thereby learnt in the studio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Education Through Art
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2014



  • Assessment
  • Fine art
  • Higher education
  • Postcolonial
  • Reproduction
  • Transformation

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