Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Characteristics and Principles of Art Education

Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Characteristics and Principles of Art Education

Article excerpt

Multiple means for art teaching. There are many ways to bring the arts into the classroom on a daily basis. But how to do it? On the basis of the review, it is clear that there are compelling reasons to nurture arts education in the elementary years. And it is also clear that there is no single approach best suited for all students; what is required is a multiplicity of approaches Here are four reasons for cultivating a wide number of strategies for embedding arts education into the fabric of children's daily lives (Fox, 2000)196:

1. Children differ from one another and, consequently, often learn in profoundly differing ways, even within the arts.

2. Cultural and regional characteristics require flexibility in approaches to teaching and learning, in order to maximize opportunities for children to thrive in their communities.

3. Teachers bring differing strengths and areas of expertise to the teaching of the arts.

4. Arts education must include learning in, about, and through the arts, and these different approaches to the arts require differing levels of resources and expertise.

British researcher John Sloboda (2001) similarly concluded that the key component to a viable arts education for today's students is variety - variety in providers, in funding, in locations, in roles for educators, in trajectories, in activities, in accreditation, and in routes to teacher competence. His response to the multiple ideas about the function of arts education is to create multiple forms. Fox (2000) makes a plea for what she calls an integrated delivery system, where there is a shared responsibility to provide the best possible experiences for young learners by bringing together funding sponsors, researchers, educators, parents, and families.

Creativity as a life dimension. At the core of the life force is the presence of a constant moving and creating energy. Intrinsic to this "dance of life" are all of the variations of energy moving-flowing, fragmented, gentle, forceful, expanding, contracting, dense, light, dissipating, and regathering. Out of this generative process, all life forms emerge and manifest in the natural world and in human consciousness and action. The creative play of the life force lies in the flux between creation and death, harmony and conflict, like elements and opposite elements forming in relationship to one another. Observing the presence of this creative play in the natural world can be inspiring, renewing, and beautiful.

Creativity connects us to the natural process that exists in all things on the biological, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes. Tapping into the energy of this foundational life force constantly moving in us and around us, we can reconnect with the innate human impulse for creation and evolution. We can develop the capacity to tolerate tension and let go of static and constricting forms that block the healthy and creative flow of life energy, the very flow that makes change possible. As these basic impulses and capacities in us are awakened and strengthened, so is our innate intelligence, which allows us to apprehend creative relationships between what often seem like contradictory pulls.

Psychological development in childrens drawings. The observation is now and then made that a striking resemblance exists between the art of primitive man and the art of the child. Owing to widespread interest manifested in the United States and Great Britain in the activities of Franz Cizek of Vienna, who has been guiding children through art activities for two decades, much discussion of the nature and potentialities of child art has been stimulated. In recent years, research has been directed toward a better understanding of the conditions under which children are creative. According to Cizek any child has the capacity to express his experiences creatively. If he does not, Cizek asserts, it is the pedagogy that is at fault197.

Creations of children from all sections of the world where educational facilities have made possible their study disclose a wealth of child ideas that are vital, in some instances humorous, and in other instances clever. …

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