International Journal of Art & Design Education

Current Issues in Art and Design Education: The Professional Arts Organisation

Volume 6.2   1987



This paper argues against the assumption that art appreciation in the context of critical studies is solely about acquiring answers or ready-made interpretations of works of art, which can only be provided by experts and can best be contained in a sophisticated and structured form of language - the formal talk or lecture. It asserts that the aims and practices of galleries seem to have moved more closely together and there are many fine examples of projects, jointly planned and implemented with schools, which are not about introducing standard answers or sets of vocabulary to young people but about eliciting genuine responses in their most appropriate forms, about enabling young people to formulate their own questions as the basis for further exploration and discovery. Information, in this context, has an important but less dominant place in a broadly-based educational experience comprising a range of intellectual and practical activities such as looking, thinking, talking, doing, researching, questioning, reading, listening, valuing and re-valuing, in a variety of permutations and interrelationships.