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Standards for Art Instruction

Attempts to set and implement national standards for art instruction have met with little success in the United States. The process of developing such standards has, however, produced a number of novel approaches to teaching art. Among the most prominent innovations are the proposed incorporation of the concepts of art criticism, art history, and aesthetics into the arts curriculum. Yet, to take a single example, the idea of introducing art criticism into teaching has met with enormous resistance from entrenched interests, from those who assign a very low value to arts education, and from numerous parties who simply fail to see how such ideas are relevant to the education of children and teenagers. Reactions to the general idea range from outrage over the apparent desire to eliminate studio art classes, to rejection of the idea based on the inadequate arts backgrounds of most teachers in elementary and secondary schools. Art criticism is often confused with art history, misinterpreted as a reference to critiques of student art work, or taken to refer to the mere expression of likes and dislikes. Some critics of the idea have also assumed that criticism is not possible without extensive grounding in practice, history, and aesthetics. But, at a time when the development of critical thinking skills is, once again, becoming an educational priority, those who favor the addition of critical concepts and activities to art instruction believe that the discipline can advance the acquisition of these skills, while providing students with visual literacy that is equivalent to the skills used in deciphering written and mathematical symbols. A brief survey of responses to the notion of teaching art critical concepts is followed by a discussion of the means by which the concepts can be incorporated into practice, and the value of doing so.

Though Wolff and Geahigan claim that art educators have "increasingly come to view the fostering o...

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Standards for Art Instruction. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 13:08, May 29, 2020, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1692093.html