University of Nottingham
Supervised by Professor Pat Thomson, University of Nottingham and Emily Pringle, Head of Research, Tate
October 2019 –

A group of people crouch in a circle facing inwards holding mirrors in front of their faces

Participants in a Schools and Teachers Summer School workshop at Tate Modern, 2019
Photo: Matt Greenwood

Currently Tate offers three regular forms of cultural resources to support school and teacher engagement in their London galleries: immersive professional learning for teachers; supported school visits and artist produced resources; and participation in artist-led workshops and projects. These resources provide an interconnected offer for primary schools. This research addresses how primary school teachers take up these offers and how students benefit from the different strands of activity.

Tate’s programmes for primary schools provide an opportunity for engagement with art and art practice. Workshops are led by artists who engender a dialogue between learners, artworks and their own practice.

The research will explore how learning by teachers and students in the programmes takes place and returns to the classroom. This will lead to an improved understanding about how cultural institutions can best support schools in nurturing creative and cultural learning across the curriculum.

It is anticipated that this research will inform Tate’s offer to primary schools going forward. It will contribute to current thinking on the significance of art museums, art and artistic practice and their relationship with primary schools.

How did you come to be researching this subject?

I am interested in how art museums can best support primary schools to increase opportunities for creative learning, art and exciting experiences. I believe that creative pedagogies have much to offer throughout the curriculum and have the potential to create beneficial and transformative learning experiences. Tate has a fantastic programme and is an amazing resource for schools, so I hope that this research can add to current research about the benefits of a creative pedagogy.

About Maddy Gilliam

Before starting her PhD, Maddy Gilliam worked in arts and heritage education, as well as previously being a secondary school teacher. She is interested in formal and informal creative learning and how the arts can be used throughout schools. She has worked with children and young people in a range of different environments. She loves attending museums and galleries, and enjoys reading and poetry as well as the theatre.

Go to Maddy’s Linkedin profile