International Journal of Art & Design Education

Teenager Art: Creating the Self

Volume 16.3   1997



In Hungary, where fine arts and high culture involved the most educational efforts of art teachers for more than 150 years, educational reforms begun as a result of political changes in 1989, represent an overwhelming challenge. Art teachers of teenagers need insights into the emerging teenage subcultures of their students in order to understand their visual world and incorporate this in art education. The authors of this paper have collected case studies of symbolisation processes of young people between 14-18 years of age and undertaken two large questionnaire surveys on the visual environment of adolescents. This paper contrasts international youth styles as recorded by T. Polemus in UK and P-A Maset et al in Germany with Eastern European trends, summarises results of the Hungarian surveys, and outlines teaching efforts that accommodate the visual language of youth subcultures in order to help adolescents further on the road towards a creation of self.