Journal directory listing - Volume 31-41 (1986-1996) - Volume 35 (1990)

On Theory and Practice in Art Appreciation Education and Assessment Author: Ann C. S. Kuo


Dewey once said education is experience, so art education means aesthetic experience. The NAEA maintains that education is learning, so art education means acquiring knowledge con-cerning art (NAEA, 1986). As part of an integrated educational curriculum or as a field of learning, art education cannot simply consist of artistic creation providing emotional release, physical and mental relaxation and creative stimulus. It should also incorporate an understand-ing of artistic knowledge, enhance aesthetic sensibility, and lay a foundation for aesthetic judgement. In other words, an integrated art education curriculum or course of study should properly consist of an active educational approach taking in creativity, knowledge, comprehen-sion, sensibility and critical judgement over the entire field of art. One of the main advocates behind the American movement for aesthetic education, M. Barkan (1955), has declared: "Art education cannot be: limited to work of art, but must regard art as a process in the develop-ment of human actions and behaviour." Ten years later, at a conference on art education re-search and curriculum development at the University of Pennsylvania, he stated even more clearly: "Art education should include art production, art history and art criticism." He firmly believes that the content of art education consists of immersion in experience of the whole field of art, and that art education means learning how to create and appreciate, and reacting to art objects (Barkan, 1955, 1965). Subsequently this ideal was adopted and promoted by the SWRL, CEMREL & GETTY institutions and by the scholars and experts who attended the conference at the University of Pennsylvania, and 'discipline based art education' (DBAE) has become the new trend in American art education today.
The present paper starts out from a discussion of the nature of art, and synthesizes a number of theories of phased development, briefly alluding to K.M. Lansing's five stages of art appreciation education, M. Parsons' five development stages for learning about art, and E. Feldman's four major steps in criticism. The discussion of teaching method focusses on H.S. Broudy's method of aesthetic perception, and methods of appreciation assessment are dis-cussed mainly on the basis of M.D. Day's proposals.

Keywords:Grand Unified Theory, Exceptional Group, Dynkin's Method

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