‘Out of the mouths of babes’: mature students and horizontal discourse in the art and design studio

Broadhead, Samantha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9469-1233 (2014) ‘Out of the mouths of babes’: mature students and horizontal discourse in the art and design studio. In: Troubling Narratives: Identity Matters, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th of June 2014, The Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences, University of Huddersfield,. (Unpublished)


This paper is based on the narratives of students coming to art and design Higher Education (HE) with an Access to HE diploma. These students are sometime referred to as ‘second chance’ , ‘mature’ or ‘non-traditional’. The two case studies under discussion are drawn from those collected from a longitudinal study (2011-2014) that sought to investigate the experiences of ‘non-traditional students’ in art and design HE. The participants are studying on a range of creative degree programmes in various institutional contexts. Narrative inquiry is used to show the ways in which students’ stories run contrary to some metanarratives about class and education. Bernstein’s theories about horizontal and vertical discourse within educational settings are used to analyse the students’ accounts about their encounters in the art and design studio. It is argued that age can be used by educational institutions as a mythological discourse that constructs a particular horizontal solidarity within a particular cohort which in turn can marginalise some mature students. For example, within art and design ‘youth and creativity’ are closely aligned and this can be transmitted through the various pedagogic devises and practices employed by an institution. The signature pedagogies also associated with the subject area can position ‘non-traditional’ students as the ‘pedagogised other’.

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item