The Arts and Critical Thinking in American Education

By Ivan Olson; Ralph A. Smith | Go to book overview

6
Teaching Approaches

The following units are all based upon a method of focus and discovery. The emphasis is upon viewing and listening with an "internal goal," such as becoming familiar with a work that is not only well known, but that also has qualities which make it interesting and worthy of study. It has things "to study about." These can all be classified as adventures of the mind.


UNIT 1. PAINTING

Jose Clemente Orozco, Zapatistas

Focus: Orozcoand Diego Rivera were Mexico's leading painters of the twentieth century. Both were known for their large murals which frequently depicted social issues. A sense of rhythm is very evident in Zapatistas.

Discovery: A part of Emil Zapata's army of peasants pass in review. The rhythm is the most exciting element in the work. The repeated lines of the men on foot and those on horseback emphasize that rhythm. The strong feeling of marching is obtained by overlapping planes that tilt forward, as if a bit downhill. Contrast of light and shade adds to the dramatic effect.

Additional Study Suggestions: Find examples of murals by Rivera. Do murals of this kind all have some social message or theme? Are there presently any living artists in the United States who are known for painting public murals?

-97-

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The Arts and Critical Thinking in American Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Theoretical and Philosophical Overview 1
  • 2 - Perceptual Style 13
  • 3 - Cognition and the Arts: Some Necessary Generalizations 25
  • 4 - The Image is Everything 43
  • 5 - Arts, Aesthetics, and the Umbrella of Critical Thinking 65
  • 6 - Teaching Approaches 97
  • Appendix - A Taxonomy for the Aesthetic Transaction 107
  • Selected Bibliography 131
  • Index 139
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