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ERIC Number: EJ871989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
The Aesthetics of Style in an Urban High School Art Class
Selig, Lauren
Art Education, v62 n2 p46-51 Mar 2009
Numerous forms of visual culture have not been addressed as valid content in traditional high school curricula until recently, resulting in missed opportunities for engagement in meaningful learning. To understand better the aesthetic responses of urban adolescents, the author conducted a qualitative case study with the high school students in her Fundamentals of Art class. This introductory, semester-long course was comprised of 25 students, some of whom had not taken art since 3rd grade. While introducing them to typical art images and skills, the author also examined their aesthetic responses to everyday objects and experiences from visual culture. For the purpose of this study, aesthetic response was defined as an individual's heightened emotional reaction to visual artifacts (including fine art), images, and experiences. The study looked carefully at (1) the kinds of words students used in their responses; (2) what they responded to; and (3) the meaning of these responses. The author gathered her data from artwork and writing produced during an 8-week unit that included three lessons focusing on aesthetic preferences and visual culture. This article outlines the different categories that emerged during the unit of study. The students responded aesthetically most often to items that related to their personal identity and style, the design of the items they use, and aspects of entertainment. An intriguing dimension of this study illuminates how meanings of an object or event impacted students' aesthetic responses.(Contains 6 figures and 4 endnotes.)
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland