A funded research initiative from Creative Scotland to develop an animation curriculum for use by teachers within the primary school, secondary school and access to education sectors. Participatory design is a key methodology for the project that has involved working and consulting closely with teachers from across Scotland. The resulting curriculum will address the difficulties faced by sectors with limited access to expensive technical resources in gaining access to practical animation experience and be used to inform the development of new SQA qualifications in film making.
Animation Education research partnership aims to find ways to improve animation education in Scotland
In mid-2021, Dr Nichola Dobson and Jared Taylor of Animation Research Network Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art, in partnership with Screen Scotland, set out to redefine animation education in Scotland.
A pioneering collaborative project has been agreed between Animation Research Network Scotland at Edinburgh College of Art and Screen Scotland, to support the development of animation specific education within the arts and within the broader curriculum in schools and community learning. Focusing on primary school education, secondary school education, and access to education, project leads Jared Taylor and Dr Nichola Dobson will commence an innovative programme of research in partnership with Screen Scotland. Animation is an extraordinarily flexible and effective way of communicating, a way of bring messages and ideas to life, and engaging others in power and novel ways.
An interdisciplinary challenge-led imitative, it will draw upon ARNS and ECA expertise to address conspicuous gaps in the current Scottish school curriculum. Unlike other parts of the UK and other countries, film and moving image are not taught as an expressive art in the senior phase in Scottish schools, so Scottish students are less aware of the breadth and scale of work in animation and the many related creative industries in Scotland, and are at an observable disadvantage when attending College and University courses alongside cohorts from other places.
The project will work towards creating accessible, effective, and thought-provoking guidance for teaching animation literacy within art and design and the broader education sector. Through a series of participatory design workshops with teachers and film educators, it will create guidance to support educators as well as a research paper on the challenges of animation pedagogy.
The initiative will establish paths towards developing an improved arts education curriculum which would increase film and animation literacy. This can support learning potential in Further and Higher Education, and substantially promote the value of students’ later contributions towards the overall Creative Industries in Scotland. This will contribute to enabling Scotland to become a centre of excellence in animation education.
This ongoing project has seen various workshops with participants from across the education sector discuss potential avenues on the path to better education and literacy in animation and associated creative industries in Scotland. Simultaneously, our ‘Mind the Gap‘ event welcomed industry members and representatives from further and higher education institutes to address the perceived skills gap between student and professional; education and industry-entry.