ERIC Number: ED358030
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Making Art at a Glance: A Critique of "Discover Art." Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 90.
May, Wanda T.
This report presents a detailed analysis of "Discover Art," an elementary textbook series by Laura Chapman. The study was guided by a large set of framing questions requiring a detailed examination of the series' goals, rationale, and structure; content selection, organization, and emphasis; the coherence of content explication in the student text; suggestions made to teacher-users about the kinds of teaching, learning, and classroom discourse that should occur; the nature of the activities and assignments provided and/or suggested in the text lessons and ancillary materials; and the purposes and nature of assessment and evaluation of student learning that were provided or recommended. Because of textbook adoption policies and the support of national reform initiatives in art education, responsive publishers who dominate the textbook market in art can have a strong influence on what kind of art students have an opportunity to learn--and not. This influence exists even when, historically, textbooks have been less common instructional tools in elementary schools curricula than crayons or clay. Despite a concerted attempt on the author's part to treat the three goals of creating art, looking at art, and living with art equitably, thematically, and in increasingly complex ways over six grade levels, "Discover Art" emphasizes whole-group art production, the formal analysis of design elements, and much redundancy and repetition in the subjects that students are asked to view, think about, and express over the years. There is little attention to developing students' depth or understanding or art/artists in diverse cultural contexts and to art criticism. Despite these overall limitations, there are several worthwhile features and activities in "Discover Art" that other subject-area authors might find informative and useful. (Contains 50 references.) (Author/AA)
Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.