International Journal of Art & Design Education

An Informetric Investigation into the Potential for Change in Belgian Art Education at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

Volume 23.2   2004



The beginning of the twentieth century was a period of pedagogical enthusiasm and renewal in the field of education. Based on a list of articles concerning art education published in Belgian periodicals between 1903 and 1923, the author undertakes an analysis of the title words in order to study how the subject was able to evolve. For this purpose, the pertinent title words are grouped into content categories. It can be seen that these content categories demonstrate specificity compared to other periods. The specificity of the subject at a given moment implies that the transformation of the subject consists of the emergence, the decline or the exchange of categories, which can also be demonstrated. The connections of these variations to historical facts are substantiated. It can therefore be stated that these variations represent the historical evolution of the subject. However, such emergence, decline and exchange of categories is only possible on condition that each category is able to vary independently of the others. This is shown by an autonomy index as well as by an ƒÓ2-test. Thus, art education did not drop from the sky as a ready-to-teach school subject. Art education is always what the people make of it, which makes reflection on what it could be or has to be so important at any given moment too.