Citation: Westerlund, H., Karttunen, S., Lehikoinen, K., Laes, T., Väkevä, L., & Anttila, E. (2021). Expanding professional responsibility in arts education: Social innovations paving the way for systems reflexivity. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 22(8). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea22n8
This article urges a reconsideration of professional responsibility in arts education, moving beyond an emphasis on narrow technical expertise and strict disciplinary boundaries in order to respond to the needs of complex late modern society. We reconsider ‘professionalism’ in arts education as a site of struggle that requires ‘systems reflexivity’ to engage in the transformation of wider society. By presenting three cases, conceptualised as social innovations in the arts education system in Finland, we illustrate how multi-professional collaboration and systems entrepreneurship, flexible institutional boundary-crossing, and performing social categories in professional education of artists help tackle exclusion and inequalities. We also argue that a degree of activism may be necessary for the field to expand its sense of professional responsibility beyond ‘what is’ towards ‘what could be’.