Creativity And The Arts In The Curriculum Under Neoliberal Regimes

Janet Mansfield
Vol 28, Number 1, p.27
This paper looks at the nature of aesthetic production in the discursive texts of neoliberalism. It examines what the political and economic responses to market turbulence have been in the aesthetic political economy of New Zealand and the ways in which market disruptions of the social order have impacted upon the arts in education and discourses of creativity. I argue that the arts in education have become esoteric zones for an elite. The neoliberalising of creativity through pragmatic and instrumentally rationalised educational goals has proletarianised teacher education and education in general and left the arts truly disembedded from education. Their re-embedding is superficial and contingent under the ‘literacies’ resolution. An ‘industrial’ curriculum in every way fit for a ‘worker’ is now present for teachers and students, such status being inscribed between the lines of fine print within the New Zealand Curriculum (2007). Under such conditions of censure as discussed by Grierson and Mansfield (2004) and Mansfield (2005b), a functional and generic arts literacy—with the likelihood of complexity, multiplicity, and difference being worked towards, in, and through the arts in education—has been further endangered. ‘Improvement’ and increasing professionalism for teachers, it seems, means improved compliance and obedience.