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ERIC Number: EJ1040961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Contemporary Practice in the Elementary Classroom: A Study of Change
Thulson, Anne
Art Education, v66 n1 p16-23 Jan 2013
Elementary school is not too early to introduce contemporary art; young students are especially adept at learning by mimicry and embracing contemporary art practices, including site-specific works. Elementary students are poised and capable to comprehend and respond to contemporary art. Tangible products can be made within a conceptual, contemporary framework. Parents and administrators are capable of understanding and supporting contemporary approaches. Modernist instruction in lower school is a counterproductive foundation for future postmodern curriculum. How do teachers make full-fledged, contemporary instruction happen for elementary graders? Where are the lesson plans? Where are the DIY videos? This pedagogy hasn't been codified because--like contemporary art--it is dynamic, layered, and slippery. A constructivist approach suits it. It is fitting that students respond divergently, construct diverse meanings, and create unpredictable products (Richardson & Walker, 2011). Practically, how does this look in a classroom? This article explains one approach. It describes how one teacher built her contemporary curriculum, project by project, from two divergent ideas about mimicry. One advises teachers to have students respond to the ideas behind contemporary art instead of imitating its forms (Gaudelius & Speirs, 2002). The other states that copying other artists' forms is how students deepen their understanding about the ideas in the work (Muniz, 2005). Both approaches to mimicry proved indispensable. Students can learn by mimicking formats of contemporary artists. On the contrary, they learn by creating work completely unrelated to the forms, but through the metaphors within artists' work. The projects described in this article, done with K-5 elementary students, address these two disparate approaches to mimicry in making art: (1) Learning by Mimicking Contemporary Art Formats and (2) Learning Through the Ideas Within Contemporary Artworks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A