International Journal of Art & Design Education

Looking for a Possible Framework to Teach Contemporary Art in Primary School(pages 51–67)

Volume 35.1   2016



Traditionally, the learning of arts in the Estonian primary school has meant completion of practical assignments given by the teacher. The new national curriculum for basic school adopted in 2010 sets out new requirements for art education where the emphasis, in addition to practical assignments, is on discussion and understanding of art. The teacher must introduce pupils to both art history and contemporary art. As a result, primary teachers would likely serve their pupils more effectively if they reconsidered their current understandings of art education and update their teaching correspondingly. The action research method seeks to answer the following question: how should one change the art education process in primary school so that in addition to practical activities pupils would have opportunities to talk about and understand contemporary art? The article discusses a framework for modernising art education in primary school. Research shows that primary school learners are open to innovation and thus discussion of contemporary art can become a natural part of primary school art classes. The balance between creating and responding is a key to planning the art education processes today.