International Journal of Art & Design Education

History and Practice on a Fine Art course

Volume 11.3   1992



Christopher Brighton reports an action research project, based on Kuhn's paradigm of creativity, to record which specific styles and idioms fine art students would accept as informing their conceptions of relevant practice. The target group were 'exposed' to both artistic and educational propositions, and reproductions of artworks characterizing historically accepted aesthetic tendencies, then asked to link proposals and examples that displayed evidence of similarity. The results suggest an absorption of contextual knowledge about art history that favours recognition of the most recent events, even though students may have little direct understanding of the events in question. There is a suggestion here of 'tacit knowledge' that results from students' involved participation in the stream of contemporary experience, providing them with the means of distinguishing what is to them relevant in art historical and theoretical expositions and tending to encourage them to engage with aesthetic problematics rather than 'facts'.