The CAST framework is informed by neuroscience:
"The three basic principles are built upon the knowledge that our learning brains are composed of three different networks, recognition, strategic, and affective. The Guidelines align these three networks with the three principles (recognition to representation, strategic to action and expression, and affective to engagement). This empirical base in neuroscience provides a solid foundation for understanding how the learning brain intersects with effective instruction." (CAST, 2020)
This framework maps perfectly onto the learning of a research based art practice, as exemplified in The Art Practice Archive. The research based art practice is about the individual making sense of the world from their unique point of view, following their creative impulses, and expressing themselves uniquely:
- Artists record personal experiences and observations
- Artists formulate questions for investigation around subjects that matter to them, personally.
- Artists hypothesize using their experiences/observations and imagination.
- Artist research ideas and make uniquely individual and original connections between them.
- Artists learn from a multitude of artists, their ideas and ways of working, and develop a unique amalgam of these
- Artists experiment with ideas and materials - they are unique creators - bending, breaking, blending in novel ways.
- Artists are self-critical - they develop their meta-cognition or ability to think about thinking and feeling.
- Artists are self-reflective - they learn to understand and deal with these thoughts and emotions that arise from reflection, and they make connection with, but also challenge their prior knowledge and ways of looking at the world.
- Artists synthesize or combine their research in novel material forms - embodiments of the ideas they wish to share with the world - concrete artifacts of the process that can be felt or experienced.
These elements of a research based art practice are reflected in the key NS Visual Art Curriculum outcomes:
- independent planning of artistic inquiry (on subjects that matter to them, personally)
- working with and assessing different materials and techniques (self-critical, self-reflective)
- developing work from personal observation, experience, and imagination
- creating work informed by other artists (developing a unique amalgam of good practices)
- creating work of personal importance
- critiquing and reflecting on personal work
Clearly, in both school curriculum terms, and beyond (we want our students to become artists - 'life-long learning'), the learning must be student centered, and meet the unique needs of all 'artists to be' - a 'universal design for learning'.
The blended visual art classroom should be designed to facilitate and scaffold this research based practice. Click on the icons below to find out more about the connections between this approach and UDL.
CAST (2020). The UDL Guidelines. Retrieved July 13, 2020,