Magazine article Art Education

Windows on the World

Magazine article Art Education

Windows on the World

Article excerpt

When I was growing up, I loved the view from my bedroom window. I could see over the vacant lot next door and across corn fields to the hills surrounding my hometown. In the spring, I could see a few blossoming apple trees that reminded me of the trees in the framed reproduction hanging over the living room couch. In the fall, the hills were vivid with New England foliage. When I did my winter homework in front of the window, I could watch the glow of sunset tint the snowy landscape. In summer, the sound of a lawnmower and the smell of freshly cut grass would drift though the window while I watched the shadows under big maple tree darken with the dusk.

Sometimes, I would find my attention drawn to the window itself-to the orange tones of the glossy varnish on the sill and frame, to the darker wood grain creating patterns that suggested ripples or flames. I would notice ai the ridged lines of the crossbars framing the window panes and the small imperfection in one pane of glass that felt rou against my finger.

Continuing the theme of our January 1998 issue, Learning In and Through Art, the articles in this issue tend to treat the visual arts as windows through which we can study the world, other cultures, the environment, history, or other academic subjects. James Catterall's response to Elliot Eisner's article from the January issue points out that most of what is taught in school is taught through representations of some sort. He argues that learning through more artistic representations may boost academic achievement. …

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