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Professor Allan Walker

Allan Walker is Deputy Director and Director of Academic Development at the Glasgow School of Art. He is responsible for learning and teaching, and research including the Centre for Creative Education and the School’s partnership with the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in Beijing. He is a member of Universities Scotland and the Learning and Teaching, Scottish Higher Education Enhancement, and ELIR committees. He is also an experienced QAA reviewer/auditor and a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. He was previously Vice Principal, at Wimbledon School of Art.

His research into practice and pedagogy focuses on dialogism particularly related to interests in China and Japan, and a practice which incorporates diverse media, including drawing, print and digital technology. His work features in various collections, including the V&A, London, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo, and Brooklyn Museum, New York.

Walker studied at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities before qualifying as a member of the Landscape Institute. He established the Croindene Press with Denis Masi in 1995, and Eyecon, the digital print research unit with Naren Barfield in 1999. Eyecon is currently located within the International Drawing Research Institute at GSA and published his digital video work, which was included in the International Dandai Festival, in 798, Beijing, in October 2007.

For discussion: Bodies of Knowledge

This theme focuses on Bodies of Knowledge in our disciplines and how they are used to construct curricula. Is it still possible, or desirable, to identify discrete and authoritative bodies of knowledge in our disciplines and if so, what are they and how should they be made explicit within the curriculum? If we cannot identify such bodies of knowledge, are we able effectively to address the core of our subjects as well as meta-issues such as globalisation, internationalisation, sustainability and cultural identity? What are the needs of students for preparation for employment and what are the requirements of professional bodies?

Knowledge generation as research and knowledge transfer as everything else including teaching provides a stimulus for considering how curricula can be linked to research and that students are able to benefit from new knowledge. How can the research that institutions undertake create new Bodies of Knowledge and in what ways can it feed into the curriculum and become part of the learning experience of students?

Classificatory frameworks which categorise knowledge such as intuitive, tacit, domain, explicit, strategic etc., provide a means to identify and gain a closer understanding of different types of knowledge. However, these may be very different from anything that might appear in an average course description. How much of these kinds of knowledge do we disregard when we come to assess student work, in order to conform with descriptors and outcomes which demand demonstrable evidence? Are students aware of the relevant bodies of knowledge related to their own progression and careers and is it our job to impart them?

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