Artistic Development, Dissertation – Literature Example

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Dissertation - Literature

This literature review seeks to briefly study artistic development and its relation to assessment and curriculum. The fine arts exist in such a way that each student experiences a different level of exposure to its forms during their everyday lives. A student may have had a family member who made pottery in their back yard or may have spent years perfecting drawings of teachers as various types of monsters. Thus, art is inseparable from experience. Psychologists have long recognized the Rorschach test as an interpretive measure of psychological states, so assessing and nurturing the expression of the intangible emotions of a diverse group of students proves a difficult and crucial portion of teaching an introductory art class at the high school level.

In Art as Experience, Dewey (2005) presents art as an enduring progression which ultimately follows life’s experiences through expression, form, substance, and criticism and perception. Philosophy has made its own contributions to educational recognition of the cognitive value of the fine arts- supported by recent studies of the importance which symbolism has in interpretation, logic, ethics, and the construction of personal meaning, necessitating intercultural and interpersonal communication through tangible forms (Gardner, 1990). Facilitated artistic development begins with guided experience, carefully tailored the student’s aptitude, current ability, and stage of artistic development. Some students will require guidance while others will thrive upon the freedom of minimal teacher input (Luehrman & Unrath, 2011). In discussions of learned attributes of artistic development, the examination of other examples of art and the subsequent study of its individual components and overall style becomes a factor in artistic comprehension and conceptualization. Developing sensitivity to differences of style involves a rational and irrational process of comparing and contrasting those components which set each artwork apart from the others (Gardner, 1990).

Because art frequently rebels against cultural norms, mass production, etc., it presents an ideal venue for secondary students to channel their own feelings of frustration and isolation in a way which brings the fine arts into reach (Dewey, 2005). Dewey writes that “A child…who lacks a matured background of relevant experiences is an incitement to intelligence to plan and convert emotion into interest” (p. 62). In addition to emotional growth, Lowenfeld and Brittain (1987) write that art education also develops aesthetic, social, physical, and intellectual growth. In Creating Meaning Through Art: The Teacher as Choice-Maker, Kerlavage’s chapter includes a detailed argument which claims that each area of growth interacts with the others and grows in equal terms (as cited by Luehrman & Unrath, 2011). However, just as each child experiences natural differences in artistic aptitude, their personality affects their art, i.e. highly rational thinkers may favor art which includes great detail and attention to the rules of the ‘physical’ world. The display of form, space, and composition convey these dimensions of personality and aptitude for artistic expression (Milbrath & Caminos, 1998). Arts research seeks to create more persuasive support for the shift from research as attached to the physical world (Barone & Eisner, 2011). Gardner (1984) writes that realism actually impedes artistic development, as intimate knowledge of the effects of suspending continuity, shade, solidness, etc. can only be arrived at through personal experimentation. Such a discovery of unique artistic processes does not lessen its importance but, instead, creates an opportunity for these innovative experiments to be integrated into a larger stylistic concept.

Yet teachers must facilitate this emotional conversion within the set federal, state, regional, and school boundaries which they have no direct effect upon and consider specific course objectives for each assignment and general individual artistic development (Eisner, 2002). Visual works are designed to challenge the viewers’ ideas of nature, the self, and education (Barone & Eisner, 2011). Art encourages pushing boundaries, so a discussion of assessment standards must include much in a few simple measures. Georgia state standards shy away from definitive measures of artistic assessment and recommend performance-based assessments and auditions at the discretion of the supervisor as an informed representative (“FINE ARTS”, 2009, p. 4).  Eisner writes that student art can be assessed by a) its technical quality, b) its inventive use of ideas or processes, and c) in finished form, its expressive power or aesthetic quality; he adds that the impact which producing the art has on the student should be considered as an internal component of the finished artwork (2002, p. 183-187). Lowenfeld and Brittain (1987) theorize that artistic development consists of phases of scribble, preschematic, schematic, dawning realism, pseudorealism, and period of decision/crisis. Artistic development follows linear progression from kinesthetic experience to control measures and, eventually, abstract conceptualization and critical, high-order thinking. Individual consideration of the student’s process and work should aid the teacher in developing an understanding of the students’ current phase of artistic development and the implications which each stage will likely have upon the finished work.

References

“Fine Arts Education: Georgia Performance Standard”. (June 18, 2009). Georgia Department of Education. Print.

Barone, T.E., & Weisner, E.W. (2011). Arts Based Research. Sage Publications, Inc. Print.

Dewey , J. (2005). Art as experience. (reprint ed., p. 371). Penguin.

Eisner, E. W. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. (Illustrated ed., p. 258). Yale University Press.

Gardner, H. (1990). Art education and human development. (p. 63). GettyPublications.

Gardner, H. (1984). Art, Mind, & Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity. Basic Books. Print.

Lowenfeld, V., & Brittain, W. L. (1987). Creative and mental growth. (8th ed., p. 510). Macmillan.

Luehrman, M., & Unrath, K. (May 2006). Making Theories of Children’s Artistic Development Meaningful for Preservice Teachers. Art Education, 59(3): 6-12. Print.

Milbrath, C., & Caminos, A. (1998). Patterns of artistic development in children : Comparative studies of talent. (p. 422). Cambridge, U.K.: New York : Cambridge University Press.

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