ERIC Number: ED334134
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-22
Cognition: What We Know and What It Means for Art Teachers.
Stinespring, John A.
This paper reviewed literature on cognition to help art teachers understand what they can learn from the huge body of literature that has been generated by cognitive psychologists. It is argued that, in this information society, teaching memorization skills is not enough; students must learn problem-solving skills. A long list of specific thinking processes that have been researched is reported, and it is noted that many cognitive psychologists have attempted to compare the problem-solving processes of experts with novices. Experts, it is concluded, spend much more time than novices on improving the meaning of what they write, or on analyzing a problem. Experts use pattern recognition based on abstract principles. In addition, a major difference between experts and novices centers on metacognitive functioning, one of the most consistent themes in cognitive psychological research. Art teachers usually work with individual students to understand their cognitive approaches; this metacognitive approach ensures that the quality of the performance is assessed, rather than just the finished product. Analogic reasoning, metaphors, and synetics are also reviewed. Research about intuition as cognition and the use of symbols as they relate to cognition and art are described, and the advantages of active applications of knowledge are identified. The final sections of the document address problem-solving as central to cognition; better cognitive skills result in more effective problem-solving skills. The advantages of art include engaging the imagination, fostering flexible ways of thinking, developing disciplined effort, and building self-confidence. (KM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Convention of the National Art Education Association (31st, Atlanta, GA, March 20-24, 1991).