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ERIC Number: EJ1168782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1476-8062
A Place for Beauty in Art Education
Watts, Robert
International Journal of Art & Design Education, v37 n1 p149-162 Feb 2018
For the past 100 years beauty has been marginalised in Western art and regarded as a problematic notion in a range of cultural contexts. Art educators tend to associate experiences of beauty with passive appreciation rather than active engagement, while researchers of children's understanding of art characterise references to beauty as evidence of low levels of aesthetic development. This article draws on evidence from a recent study to challenge these assumptions. The study explored how children describe and analyse their perceptions of beauty and how they reflect upon and articulate their experiences of beauty. Fifty-one children in two English primary schools were asked to find and photograph images they thought were beautiful, which they shared and discussed during a series of group interviews. The interviews provided evidence of the diversity of these children's perceptions of beauty, of their awareness of how visual and formal qualities contribute towards the beauty of images and of how their experiences of beauty can be meaningful and relevant to them. The article suggests that children's responses to beauty are not merely passive but often expressive, and that some of their responses to beauty illustrate art educators' principles of participation, individuality and self-expression. It argues that art educators should reappraise the value of beauty in art education and reflect on its potential for raising children's levels of engagement with the visual world.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A