In this paper, an overarching framework is presented and discussed that enables the mapping of approaches to the interpretation of creative acts or artifacts for the purposes of analyzing the underlying referential frameworks that inform assessment. Informed by literary and aesthetic theory, the framework’s horizontal axis relates to what might broadly be termed the sources or locus of meaning (that is, the author, the text, and the reader), and its vertical axis refers to broad approaches to how the problem of meaning is negotiated, whether representation or signification (differentiated in the framework as “eucharistic,” “objective,” and “operative” criticism). The framework was initially constructed to analyze the embedded and often tacit interpretative approaches underpinning assessment practices in the creative arts in higher education, particularly in fine-art studio practice, and, as such, the discussion of the methodological value of the framework is situated within this context.


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pp. 91-110
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