International Journal of Art & Design Education

Cognitive Style and Related Educational Issues: New Directions for Research in Art Education

Volume 2.1   1983



This paper considers two areas of research: research which has explored the relationship between student differences in cognitive style with resulting differences in understanding, knowledge and skills in the visual arts, and research which has explored teacher differences in cognitive style with resulting differences in perceptual training programmes and teaching strategies that affect student understanding, knowledge and skills. The paper reviews research about student differences in cognitive style and related behaviours reported by H A Witkin, research about dimensions of cognitive style and conceptual tempo reported by J Kagan, and both are compared. Next, research about teacher cognitive style and its effect on student learning behaviours, as reported by Witkin, is considered before presenting the summary of recent studies that relate cognitive style research to problems in art education. The paper concludes with a clarification of needed research about cognitive style and its implications for art education.