Threads of tension
Teaching and learning in the discipline of fashion design centres around a complex system of tensions in which the head, the heart, the hands, the eyes, the body and the mind all play a role. This is a system where the demands of high quality tertiary education compete with the intangibles of creativity and the rapid pace of change within the fashion industry. Students enter the fashion program with individual expectations, aspirations and fears and possess different levels and combinations of skills and comprehension. It is critical then that we, as tachers, harness each student’s motivation and demonstrate to them early that they can grow and flourish within this tertiary environment. It can be tricky, but for us the challenges and tensions are inspiring, and as we learn more about our students approaches to learning, we get closer to creating the ‘perfect’ environments and activities which enable our students to succeed both as learners and as creatives within the fashion industry. This chapter looks at some of the obstacles encountered by first year QUT fashion students and at some of the innovative teaching methodologies being employed by the QUT fashion team, with particular focus on an introductory first year project titled ‘sox’.
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