International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Generic Community of the Arts: its Historical Development and Educational Value

Volume 11.3   1992



Peter Abbs reviews the history of the debate between advocates and critics of 'generic arts' approaches to arts education in schools. At the time of writing, with an emerging National Curriculum, the arguments have become increasingly polarised. Abbs suggests that for many years British education has been consistently deprived of any significant cultural dimension. He argues for recognition of a community of creative arts defined by the properties its constituent art forms would possess: all expressive of life; all dependent for their meanings upon their intrinsic, formal constructions and all requiring an aesthetic response through feeling, the senses and the imagination.