Communities of practice in art and design teaching in higher education: Considering the literature


  • Kate Dunstone



Community of Practice, arts education, signature pedagogies


This article provides an overview of relevant literature related to the broader research area of communities of practice, and indicates relationships between this literature and the disciplinary context of art and design teaching in Higher Education. Initially the rationale for selection of literature is provided, then the specific disciplinary context of the research area is indicated, through the lens of signature pedagogies, in order to situate the research in context and explore the use of these pedagogies in relation to learning and teaching art and design. Communities of practice, and developments within this concept, are explored, providing an understanding of how learning and teaching may occur in practically focused subject areas. Finally insights from both bodies of literature are synthesised to indicate implications for art and design in higher education, and opportunities for further research.


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Flint, A., & O’Hara, M. (2013). Communities of practice and ‘student voice’: Engaging with student representatives at the faculty level. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 2(1).

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Lea, M. R. (2005). “Communities of Practice” in Higher Education. In D. Barton & K. Tusting (Eds.), Beyond communities of practice: Language, power, and social context. Cambridge University Press.

Marshalsey, L. (2021). Talking to Art and Design Students at Home: Evaluating the Differences in Student Engagement Online. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 40(4), 702–713.

Marshalsey, L., & Sclater, M. (2020). Together but Apart: Creating and Supporting Online Learning Communities in an Era of Distributed Studio Education. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 39(4), 826–840.

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