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ERIC Number: EJ935028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Shifting the Curriculum: Decentralization in the Art Education Experience
May, Heidi
Art Education, v64 n3 p33-40 May 2011
When a collaborative approach is embraced, decentralization in the art classroom can consist of a non-linear exchange of ideas between teacher and students, allowing for necessary dialogue and conversation, ultimately leading to innovative exploration of materials and concepts. In this situation, students can become active learners as opposed to passive participants, and teachers learn to strategically listen and watch for teachable moments. This article examines the decentralized approach to art curriculum from a pedagogical point of view, acknowledging advantages and disadvantages for art educators, and its contribution to a curriculum that captures the current cultural aesthetic experience. By referring to research in art education and writings of curriculum theorists, the author argues for an application of decentralized approaches to teaching visual art in contemporary learning environments, with emphasis on instigating critical thinking within classroom critiques of student artwork. The following topics are addressed: (1) the connection between decentralized curriculum and complexity thinking; (2) the significance of dialogical exchange between teacher and students; (3) the concept of emergent knowledge; and (4) the noted desire for flexible curricular models in art education. The author concludes by providing accounts of collaborative learning within university studio art courses that occur in online environments, with the intent of provoking thought for art education at all levels. Throughout, she describes a theoretical framework for understanding decentralized curriculum as she argues for a contemporary art pedagogy that is reflective of contemporary life. (Contains 5 figures.)
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A