To: Richard Bruton, Minister for Education
⌗stateoftheart campaign for urgent reform of the Leaving Cert art curriculum
The Art Teachers’ Association of Ireland launch the ♯stateoftheart campaign: Raising awareness of the urgent need for change in Leaving Certificate Art
Why is this important?
Despite requests, the Leaving Cert art curriculum has not been revised since 1972.
Leaving Cert Art itself is not required or recognised as entry to 3rd level art college (matriculation), students must produce an additional portfolio of artwork, putting extra financial and time pressure on them and their parents during the stressful Leaving Cert year.
Art is the most difficult of all 32 Leaving Cert subjects to achieve an A1 grade at higher level. In 2016, students were four times more likely to get an A in higher level physics than in higher level art and seven times more likely to get an A in ordinary level physics than in ordinary level art.
Candidates at ordinary level experience the inequity of the current system, in 2016, 1011 male students took ordinary level art in the Leaving Cert, only one of them achieved an A1 grade.
Art History and Appreciation makes up 37.5% of the Leaving Cert art exam, students are expected to study the history of European and Irish art, craft and design from c.3200 BC to the present day in approximately 44 hours.
For all these reasons the number of students choosing art at Leaving Cert is falling, from 10,783 in 2011 to 9,747 in 2016. This decline will have a knock on negative effect on third level art and design education and ultimately on the creative sectors who contribute so significantly to our wider economy, society and culture.
It is essential that the Department of Education, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and State Examination Commission (SEC) work together with art teachers, parent and student groups and relevant stakeholders in culture and industry to design and implement a new Leaving Cert curriculum, not simply assessment reform.
For more facts and figures about the ⌗stateoftheart campaign and the Leaving Certificate art curriculum visit our website http://www.artteachers.ie/ or follow us on social media.