• Neil MulhollandEmail author
Part of the Creativity, Education and the Arts book series (CEA)


For boundary theorists, the dissolution of a perceived boundary—such as that between workshop-based teaching and extra-mural community engagement—might lead to a significant change in behaviour, thus generating a new, potentially more equitable, social boundary. Boundaries between the academy and the wider world are being made more porous as a means of serving social justice, enabling more people to realise their potential as learners. This chapter demonstrates how some art schools have rationalised permeable internal and external boundaries that enable more diverse and equitable forms of identification that, in turn, encourage the co-creation of socially robust knowledge. From the imaginary of the ruined academy, the pecuniary performance of disciplinary ‘units of resource’ is the key to determining the scale and shape of art schools. To rationalise more productive and inclusive forms of identification, art schools need to optimally position their resources on the axes of vertical integration (fat-head) and horizontal integration (long-tail). Combining Birger Wernerfelt’s resource-based view and Michael Porter’s positioning school may enable art schools to make their resources more heterogeneous and porous. Art schools have primarily taken a resource-based view of porosity, diversifying their internal resources—in the form of ‘complimentary studies’—to offer more variety and breadth. Art schools that have pursued the kind of holistic curriculum reform promised by Joyce VanTassel-Baska’s ‘integrated curriculum model’ (ICM), however, have encouraged more permeable boundaries that enable more diverse and equitable forms of artistic practice to emerge.


Permeability Porosity Curriculum reform 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Edinburgh College of ArtThe University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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