Patterns of Thought: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Aesthetics, Education and the Arts

full name / name of organization: 
University of Liverpool and Bluecoat Gallery
contact email: 

Patterns of Thought: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Aesthetics, Education and the Arts
21-22 June 2013, The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool

Organised by the University of Liverpool and the Bluecoat Gallery in collaboration with National Museums Liverpool, FACT, METAL, and Liverpool Biennial, this 2-day event brings together philosophers, artists, education theorists, museum professionals, policy makers and practitioners in order to explore and develop education programmes and practices for children and families in galleries and art organizations. This forms part of the larger AHRC Patterns of Thought Project, led by Dr Panayiota Vassilopoulou, that seeks to develop and promote the early-years teaching of reflective skills through engagement with art, especially in gallery and exhibition spaces. We hope that this event will bring pedagogical methods, as well as philosophical reflection more broadly, into productive interdisciplinary conversation with education theory, curatorial studies and the arts, so as to co-ordinate aims and objectives in planning strategically for the future. The conference will consist of keynote talks and roundtable discussions with an important emphasis placed on group discussion and dialogue between disciplines. The conference is supported by the AHRC, the British Society for Aesthetics, and the School of the Arts, University of Liverpool. Confirmed speakers include Dr. Eileen John (Warwick), Jeremy Newton (Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts), Dr. Morag Morrison (Cambridge), Prof. Nicola Shaughnessy (Kent), Peter Worley (Philosophy Foundation) and representatives from our partner institutions.

Call for Papers

We welcome short papers (15-20 minutes) from artists, curators, educators, policy makers and academics from a range of disciplines responding to the general theme of arts education for young children and/or families. Prospective themes include, but are not limited to, the following.

- Arts and Well Being: Aesthetic Engagement as a Catalyst for Personal Development.
- Museums, Galleries and the 'Educational Turn': A 21st Century Perspective.
- Philosophy and Aesthetics for Children.
- Measuring the Efficacy of Arts Education in the Academy and the Artworld.
- Learning Outside of the Classroom: What's Special About Gallery Education?
- The Arts and Intellectual Emancipation: Preventing Stultification and Alienation in Galleries.
- Outreach and Diversity: How Can Education Expand the Reach of the Arts?

The deadline for abstracts is 22nd May 2013. Please email anonymised abstracts of around 300 words to Shaun May at We aim to inform all applicants about our decision within a week after this deadline. For more information please email Shaun May at, Dr. Panayiota Vassilopoulou at or visit our website: