Policy Archaeology: Method and Utility? by Jason Huxtable

A cover slide with black background and text that says POlicy Archaeology: Method and Utility?

It was very interesting to speak with the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ project group about a research methodology I’ve used for an upcoming book chapter (Huxtable 2022), ‘Performance’ measures as neoliberal industrialisation of higher education: A policy archaeology of the Teaching Excellent Framework and implications for the marginalisation of music education, chapter in ‘The Industrialisation of Arts Education’ edited by Samantha Broadhead, in press publishing August 2022; Palgrave Macmillan)

‘Policy Archaeology’ is a method introduced by James Scheurich (1994) to interrogate the social conditions for the emergence and visibility of policy problems and the range of acceptable policy solutions. Through the passing through of four ‘arenas’, policy analysts are required to critically question how policy is reflective, and reinforcing, of a grid of social regularities and to what extent policy seeks to confirm or subvert dominant discourse, action and behaviour. Most importantly policy archaeologists are required to problem pose why and what power (re)distribution is preferable through policy enaction and what this says about society and it’s ‘regularities’ (and regulation).

I suggest that a policy archaeology relating to processes and policy outcomes relating to ‘compassionate assessment’ investigation may prompt reflective critical questioning:

  • What is the problem the policy is trying to address?
  • Who is this a problem for?
  • Who are the stakeholders in this policy solution?
  • Why has the need for a solution emerged now?
  • What are the possible solutions?
  • What does this tell us about the social regularities the ‘problem’ exists within? What solutions may have been deemed unacceptable and why?
  • How does this policy problem and solution correspond to the grid of social regularities?
  • What are the forms of capital at play here and what is the intended re-distribution of power? Are there any unintended (or intended) harms which may result? Who is ‘paying’ and why?
  • To what extent does the policy solution seek to reinforce, fix, modify, subvert, challenge or disrupt social ‘norms’? What is the potential for change and what are the limitations?

Slides for my opening presentation can be accessed at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JwrAHZTYlkMfdum6U0kox_2jEocDi6Vm/view?usp=sharing

Jason Huxtable, Senior Lecturer in Popular Music Performance, Leeds Arts University

jason.huxtable@leeds-art.ac.uk

www.jasonhuxtable.com

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Student Panel – Video

Amina Akhmedova and Simbi Juwon-Sulaiman are current students at UAL. They share their experiences of assessment in Fine Art and Graphic Design.

Talking us through their journeys in applying to university, Amina and Simbi explore their experiences of feedback. They make an urgent case for staff and students to build confidence to speak about intersectional identities in assessment and groups crits.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Ecosystems for Designing with Compassion – Video

Dr Maha Bali: Ecosystems for Designing with Compassion

Dr Maha Bali invites us into an interactive session that explores ways to design our curriculum and assessment in compassionate ways.

By designing systems that promote autonomy for students and teachers, student agency is held as a core way to enact compassionate assessment.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Lightning Talk Janine Francois – Video

Janine Francois, Course Leader for BA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, UAL, shares her approaches of encouraging students to share their whole self through assessment.

We look at student’s work and reflect on how heritage, identity and personal practice can be valued within the art school.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Lightning Talk Mo Ling Chui – Video

Mo-Ling Chui, Course Leader for Design Management at London College of Communication, UAL, shares the Hackathon that was designed to address issues of identity, belonging and sense of community.

Using collaborative strategies and design thinking, students were prompted to self-assess using inspirational prompts: ‘I like, I wish, I wonder’.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Lightning talk Michael Smith – Video

Michael Smith, Course Leader for Animation at Leeds Arts University shares some of his approaches to building community and belonging through assessment practices.

The use of dialogic approach to feedback is explored as a way to reduce anxiety and pressure for students.

This lightning talk took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Creative Arts Learning Model – Video



Professor Sheila Gaffney and Nina Spencer offer their insights into how registry and academics worked together to develop an assessment framework: Creative Arts Learning Model (CALM) at Leeds Arts University.

The framework responded to concerns over learning outcomes and assessment criteria that were not fit for purpose in a creative arts context.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Panel discussion on pass/fail assessment – Video

This panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education is between invited speakers:

  • Professor Sam Broadhead (LAU)
  • Dr Neil Currant, (UAL)
  • Peter Hughes, (LAU)

It is facilitated by Dr Kate Mori (Academic Engagement Manager, QAA). 

The discussion explores the potential of pass/fail as a compassionate approach to assessment and explores the challenges in changing practice and policies from the perspective of staff, students and the wider institution. A fascinating conversation that explores the complexities of feedback and assessment and implications for student belonging. 

This panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Keynote from Dr Jan McArthur – Video

Assessment for Social Justice: why belonging matters

Dr Jan McArthur rethinks the purpose of assessment through the lens of social justice.

Drawing upon Axel Honneth, belonging is explored as relational and related to the philosophical idea of recognition.

We consider care, respect and esteem as ways to bring joy and compassion to assessment practices.

This keynote took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).