ERIC Number: ED334130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Art Education and the Development of Self-Concept.
Hausman, Jerome J.
References are often made in art education literature about how art can enhance individuals' self-concepts. This document discusses the work of authors, Manuel Barkan, George Herbert Mead, and Sigmund Freud, who support this concept. Barkan's theory concerning how an individual's personality develops and changes by interacting socially is analyzed. In creating visual art forms, a similar interaction occurs between the creator and the artwork. The Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi's book, "Flow-The Psychology of Optimal Experience," (1990) is offered as a way to discuss what happens to the individual when involved in the creation of a visual form. Csikszentmihalyi's study suggests the conditions under which "optimal experience" is attained. The latter's final condition states that self identity and one's work are inextricably linked and a stronger sense of self emerges after the experience is over. How achievement in one experience does not necessarily transfer into another activity is explored and the conclusion is drawn that self-concepts develop through processes of interactions. Many young people receive negative reinforcements in their day-to-day experiences and the argument is made that it would be naive to expect isolated arts experiences to counteract all these negatives. However, art teachers should seize and build on positive experiences when students get involved in creative challenges. Although the present emphasis on cognitive learning in art education is welcome, this needs to be balanced with a comprehensive approach to how students are encouraged and supported in their feelings about themselves. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: Center for Arts in Education, Chicago, IL. Urban Gateways.