Ethical and methodological implications for research and practice Education and knowledge as power: educating creative
Such structural change may be enacted in leaps such as revalidations and quality assurance processes. However, neglecting incremental development would make this process more complex due to a lack of institutional learning where small-scale module development is not constantly planned and mapped out. Incremental educational strategy development, however, may involve structural change module by module, where a business modelling logic is built into modules one by one, which are so modified as to correspond with one another structurally, as to resemble the structural networks of value relations in the industry. Some examples include the following relationships – an events practice module is modified to correlate to the one in digital marketing, which draws content from the events module and uses it for student enterprise campaigns in the actual market; a business modelling module is modified to provide an entrepreneurial business development/incubator component to the digital marketing module. In this model, industry partners mentor, evaluate, partake in public events and student showcases, advise on, and analyse the curriculum or its components of particular interest (own sector, branded module, etc.). This way a new model is developed, based on experiential structures and methodologies adopted in the industry, while maintaining educational autonomy through the development of own models of innovation in training and education-based enterprise. This leads to the second consequence of the impact of experience economies on emerging creative industry education. Branding is directly related to the transfer of experiential value within the educational institution and through industry partnerships. Educational brands as experiential models; industry branding evidenced through knowledge development (creation), transfer (engagement) and attainment (capture) experiences. The relationship branding with the industry may create further synergies, and requires careful strategic planning due to the need for sustainability, transparency and intellectual independence, one of the most important value components of educational structures and norms. Therefore, structural learning, and close, clearly delineated knowledge transfer alliances are preferred to models where education services the industry in exchange for work placement opportunities and content use privileges. The autonomy of academia is one of its most significant strengths developed strategically over history. Therefore, its claim to value creation is not in copying the external environment, describing it, mimicking or servicing its protagonists, but by learning from it and engaging with it through its own models of thought applied in training, teaching, research and analysis. The ongoing transformation of knowledge structures, experiential economies and roles of those who work in them is an opportunity for creative industry education to overcome the fallacious boundaries between critical, technical, and business knowledge. In business reality of the creative industries, sustainable careers require integrated, adaptive and convergent knowledge structures: the expertise of a sector manager involves the understanding of the
nature of the creative work they manage, just as the experience of a practitioner, developer or artist requires a structural understanding of the market (and preferably more). Education needs to reflect this through strategic industry relations, while maintaining its autonomy through own value creation. Longitudinal practice in industry education shows this goal is attainable. When encouraged to act, given clear parameters, students have shown impressive reflective ability in practice-related work. Some of the case studies cited in this book come from the pool of student-developed reflective knowledge. Management participant observation from actual, current and cutting-edge cases created by advanced students contributes to the body of knowledge in specialist areas across the creative industries. One module alone led to the development of 45 case studies on studentmanaged industry practice. These were fed continually into the module curriculum as critical training exercises, pointing to a set of management tools and strategy layers in analysis and subsequent application. For example, students are asked to reflect on the long-term career positioning of industry clients, mainly creators or performers, in relation to the specific campaigns led by student teams. A set of key questions is examined through reflection on practice. These include: conceptual coherence between the campaign, brand and creative content; the nature of services supplied to the client; the importance of analytics combined with detailed description and conceptual analysis; the application of semiotics in branding and PR practice online. Of special importance is the combined use of data and brainstorming to increase the target market by crossing over different segments and sectors through tagging and links. This is done as a result of a combination of workshops focusing on past experience and current research, in open debates on best solutions and critical reflection. Fundamental analytical concepts are seamlessly integrated into practical examples discussed; such workshop experience is then applied to student enterprise, conducted in ICT labs. Formative feedback is thus reinforced until the final weeks of teaching, when an industry-led discussion of campaigns forms the final formative assessment event, followed by submission a week later. The module itself forms a spiral of development through reflective learning implementing Kolb’s experiential principles. Just as in industry strategy, contingency planning (‘ploys’, manoeuvres, adaptations) may be required: in relation to competitors, adapting to a changed environment, planning for an undesired eventuality of weakening of industry ties, adapting to new patterns in student demand – change of educational operations and paradigms, driven by increased commercialization of education, etc. It can be proposed that a clearly defined educational curriculum in creative industries involves a set of operations resembling the development of a creative industry product or service, the inimitability of which is based on experience, educational and practical, through events and processes of knowledge transfer and practical experimentation. The sustainability of such educational models depends on a number of factors.