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A school for adventure: the journeys of Dartington College of Arts
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2018, 00:00 authored by Misha MyersMisha Myers
This reflective essay looks back at the adventure in learning that was Dartington College of Arts (DCA). It considers the specific context and conditions that fostered its distinctive model of learning for almost 50 years on the Dartington Hall Estate in rural Devon and considers the legacy that was carried to its new campus in 2010 following the merger of DCA with Falmouth University in Cornwall in 2008. DCA’s distinctive curriculum had been distilled and shaped over many years by many hands at Dartington and was informed by its specific historical, social, geographical and pedagogical context. Like any living system, DCA’s educational approach was not something that could be sustained in some generalised context, but rather needed a specific habitat, optimum conditions to thrive, and the skills necessary to find, create and sustain it. While DCA was a specific place that can never be again, this essay considers what conditions might be needed to sustain learning as adventure. In doing so, it traces some of the journeys that led to and followed on from that educational approach at DCA in hopes they might provide some orientation towards such learning elsewhere and when.