International Journal of Art & Design Education

Art for Ages 5 to 14: a Personal Response

Volume 11.2   1992



Harman Sumray argues that, although there have been numerous models of the art curriculum offered in the recent past, few have given attention to the need for disciplinary structures such as argued taxonomies. Underlying this neglect have been assumptions that art is not a linear subject, and that its components cannot be separated without destroying its very nature. Whilst Sumray himself acknowledges the holistic nature of the subject, he maintains that teaching and learning in art must be linear to be effective. It is therefore necessary to formulate a progressive development, in which principles need only be few but are to be revisited at increasing levels of complexity and sophistication. Sumray maintains that, although the discipline of art is not wholly dependent on ordered facts, there is a particular type of knowledge that is unique and essential to it. In its failure to endorse such an approach, Sumray claims, the National Curriculum Art Working Group missed a critical opportunity to facilitate in schools an orderly acquisition of the intrinsic concepts and values of art.