International Journal of Art & Design Education

2005 - Volume 24: Number 3

Identifying the Core in the Subject of Fine Art


Volume 24.3

This paper explores the basis and main characteristics of fine art as a subject discipline and looks at how these elements combine to create a distinctive and in many ways unique learning environment. Taking the premise that fine art as a subject discipline is concerned with encouraging the development of individual artistic practice and enabling the student to articulate and define the social and cultural context that they are working within, this paper considers how fine art students come to develop alternative ways of thinking, seeing and conceptualising. Referring to the Art and Design Subject Benchmark statements the paper argues that in a fine art education, a set pf principles, core characteristics, skills and abilities are combined to create a unique learning environment that gives its graduates a set of abilities that are particularly relevant to our complex society.

Educating Turkish Primary School Teachers in Visual Arts: the Past and the Future


Volume 24.3

Every educational system should meet certain criteria that establish quality in teaching and learning. These criteria are often provided by aims and objectives listed in school curricula. After describing and commenting on the history of school education in Turkey, the main question posed in this research is how to change the Turkish primary school education in visual arts so that its quality will improve. After analyzing the situation, this work provides an outline of how this may be achieved. In the future, the gained insights may be very useful for an incorporation of European standards in the Turkish educational system.

The Meaning and Value of Home-Based Craft


Volume 24.3

My interest in craft-based activity in the home was aroused by research I carried out for the Crafts Council in the mid 1990s, which found that craft education in secondary schools was in serious decline. Paradoxically interest in amateur crafts was increasing and many teenagers claimed to be ‘making things’ at home. At the present time, culture and life-long learning are priorities on the British government’s agenda and craft-based projects are being used in community, family and health education schemes targeted, for example, at quality of life enhancement, improving participation in schools and/ neighbourhood regeneration. However the majority of such schemes operate with a narrow conception of the nature and scope of craft and ignore how it is learned and practised in everyday life. This paper reports the findings of a review of literature about social and emotional benefits of participation in home-based crafts and argues this is a neglected area of art and design education theory and practice meriting increased attention and research.

Can Improvisation be taught?


Volume 24.3

The aim of this paper is to reconsider the problem of relating theory to practice in art education by placing it within the largely ignored context of improvisation. In so doing it is hoped that some of the well-known ‘difficulties’ art practitioners have when confronted with the (usually mandatory) history and theory components of their programs of study might be better understood and, perhaps managed rather differently.

Attitudes to making art in the primary school


Volume 24.3

Recent research suggests that the majority of primary school teachers in the UK believe that the purpose of teaching art and design is to develop skills associated with creativity, communication and expression. This paper is based on research into the attitudes held by primary school pupils towards making art. The reflective nature of many of the responses to the survey provides persuasive evidence of young children’s capacity for absorbing relatively complex ideas, which in turn has implications for teacher expectations of pupil learning in art and design.

Developing Multicultural Awareness through Designs Based on Family Cultural Heritage: Application, Impact and Implications


Volume 24.3

The United States has grown increasingly diverse in its social and cultural composition. Higher education institutions in the U.S. have actively encouraged multicultural infusion both in curriculum development and campus activities. This article discusses a higher education multicultural design project that was based on students’ research and documentation of four generations of personal family history. By understanding aspects of personal heritage, self-awareness of bias and prejudice can be more easily understood thereby offering opportunity for maturity through appreciation and acceptance of others. The impact of the personal history design project on students will be offered as well as application of the project in the K-12 environment. Implications for K-12 teachers will also be discussed.

Young people and Contemporary Art


Volume 24.3

In this article empirical examples are used to connect theories about young people, contemporary art forms and learning. The first part of the article introduces the new forms of consciousness which, according to the youth researchers Birgitte Simonsen and Thomas Ziehe, characterize young people of today. In the second part, the qualities of contemporary art forms experienced by young people are connected to the theories of the French art critic Nicholas Borriaud regarding ‘relational aesthetics’. Finally, the third part of the article discusses four preconditions for learning, which were experienced as positive by the young people included in the empirical material: ‘the hook’, ‘the experience of otherness’, ‘social interaction’, and ‘meta-reflection’.

Thinking about art: could elementary textbooks serve as models of practice to help new teachers and non-specialists support reasoning in art?


Volume 24.3

Some primary school teachers may neglect reasoning about art. Models of practice can exemplify classroom teaching and, to some extent, a textbook for children can be seen as a model of practice. Can those in art serve as models of practice and help teachers foster reasoning? This study examined 19 art textbooks intended for use by Key Stage 2 children (7 to 11 year old) to see to what extent they might direct a teacher’s attention to reasoning in art. Some gave no attention to reasoning but some were found to have the potential to do that, at least in connection with evaluating the art of others. In this respect, they might serve as models of practice. Nevertheless, the teachers most likely to benefit from such models may not recognise a good one, be proficient in using it productively, be able to develop thinking about the art of others further or extrapolate thinking to the child’s own art. Consequently, knowing what counts in art education and using models of practice to good effect could be an important part of training courses.



Volume 24.3

This article deals with a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach to Sculpture in a practice-based PhD. The research centred on context in relationship to the Giriama Commemorative Grave Posts of Kenya and my art practice in the UK. This heuristic investigation culminated in the construction of wall and floor fragments relating to vernacular architecture in both cultures. The natural environment and my previous teaching experience in Kenya had a major impact on the work. The self-reflexive and visual aspects of the research were documented through diaries and photographic record. Feelings of vulnerability and insecurity led to the main theme of mortality. The practical work progressed through themes of binary opposition and semiotic reference in particular reference to the materials and processes I used. The first body of work was shown to an African audience at the National Museum of Kenya, and then later work at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London. This reinforced the significance of familiar readings of the work through cultural context and symbolic recognition, often reflecting a culturally specific interpretation.

An Experimental Study in Architectural Design Studio: The Search for Three-Dimensional Form and Aesthetics through Clay


Volume 24.3

In architectural design education, the main objective is to help students, especially the first year students, improve their design ideas, creativity, perception of three-dimensions and the ways of expressing them. Thus, as an embedded concept in architecture, art has been emphasized here as a design method. In other words, the necessary help to enable students to think more freely has been provided by ceramic art. The concept dealt with in this article is an interdisciplinary approach to space design as an experimental method in design education. Just as fine art students are inspired from the principles of architecture, clay, as basic material to fine art students, makes a creative material and design tool for architecture students. In the Design courses; a workshop was organized by the first author, the instructor, for the first and third year architecture students. The second author, a ceramics artist and lecturer, has participated in the workshop as a visiting instructor and contributed with her own studies related to space, house, building and materials.

School Art – What’s in it?


Volume 24.3

In 2003/4 NFER undertook a study of the content of the art curriculum in secondary schools in England on behalf of the Arts Council England (ACE) and Tate Galleries. In 18 schools, eight of which were identified as engaged with contemporary art practice (referred to throughout the article as the CAP schools), 54 art teachers were asked to describe the content of their most recently completed art module. ‘Content’ was taken as: the media and materials in which pupils worked; the artistic and cultural references used to support the teaching; the skills taught; and the thinking processes used. They were also questioned about the factors that influenced their choice of curriculum content and the aims that guided their choice of content. Most of the teachers (excluding the heads of department) were asked which of a set of six art images they would include in their teaching, and the reasons for their decisions. Teachers in the CAP schools were also asked to explain why they chose to include contemporary art. The findings revealed substantial differences between the two cohorts of schools, not all of which were related to the inclusion of contemporary art practice. A preoccupation with the teaching of skills was more apparent in the randomly selected schools, which also drew very heavily on the early twentieth century for their artistic references. Unsurprisingly, the CAP schools drew heavily on contemporary references, but included many from other periods, cited twice as many references overall, and had a generally more eclectic view of the purposes of teaching art.

Access and Support in the Development of a Visual Language: arts education and disabled students


Volume 24.3

Overall, little is known about the ways in which disabled children and young people produce artwork or how they are enabled to access the visual arts curriculum particularly when they have high level and complex support requirements. This article focuses on the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and practical assistance that enables disabled students to create art and design work. The article is based on my recent doctoral research which has analysed the arts education of a group of disabled young people post 16 and investigated the ways in which the arts curriculum can be made accessible. ICT, in conjunction with effective practical assistance, can be refined and merged to create seamless access to the visual arts for disabled students and can play a key role not only in equipping them with the skills and competencies to gain qualifications and poten¬tial employment, but also as a 'voice' with which they can express their particular experiences of the human condition.