Why teach art?
Why teach art?

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Why teach art?

2. Does art have a value?

Art has been described as an open concept: a cumulative and developing category of objects and processes, which by its nature is not easily definable. Therefore it might be more relevant to consider how art based activities enhance human aptitudes, abilities and skills.

Some of the skills and values gained from the study of art and art history are listed below. For present purposes these can be subdivided into those that are intrinsic (undertaken for their own sake) and those that are extrinsic (externally motivated).

Intrinsic aptitudes include:

  • creativity and imagination;

  • self-expression and perception;

  • spatial awareness;

  • visual aptitude (perception of colour, tone, composition, size, etc.);

  • physical acuity (drawing, hand–eye coordination, etc.).

Some extrinsic aptitudes are:

  • developing powers of description and analysis;

  • extending intercultural awareness (icons, practices, symbols);

  • planning and executing art projects;

  • developing and supporting arguments and viewpoints;

  • collaborative peer working, self-directed learning.

Please now consider Activity 1.

Activity 1

Evaluate any appropriate lesson plans or teaching materials against the descriptors above. You may wish to reflect on the extent to which some or all these aptitudes are evident or implicit within your lesson planning, delivery and pupil learning outcomes.

Read the lesson outline here and look at the animated sequence below. What learning might have been taking place in this lesson?

Click on the 'View document' link below to download the Lesson Outline

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The lesson from which this work was produced was about ‘tone’. The teacher also intended the students to become familiar with using an animation package and to experience co-operative group work. How does a lesson such as this fit into your ideas of what art and design in schools is all about? How does it relate to the general aims of art in education?


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