International Journal of Art & Design Education

Tradition, Meditation and Growth in Art Education

Volume 9.3   1990



As a precursor to his argument in this paper Leslie Cunliffe considers the article written by Alan Simpson, (JADE Vol.6 No.3) ‘What is Art Education Doing?’ which identifies three influences on secondary art education: (i) child art; (ii) the direct sensory; and (iii) critical studies. Cunliffe argues that of these the child art movement has had little or no lasting significant influence on the secondary sector. Critical studies, although much discussed as a crucial component on art education, is not yet securely established (1990). This leaves the direct sensory as the dominant influence, to which Leslie Cunliffe adds two others – ‘copying from media images’ and ‘basic design exercises’. He poses the question ‘Why have these three categories come to dominate much of the secondary curriculum?’ and addresses it by examining the way in which art students have been educated in the preceding twenty years.