Seeking lucidity : a reimaging of the visual arts curriculum
Richardson, Todd M
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The impact of modernism and postmodernism on contemporary pedagogy is broad and deep. Kant's philosophy provides the framework for a reality based on rationalization of facts and emotions while Nietzsche's influence reduces human behavior to the search for authenticity and power. Contemporary art inspired by these thinkers has influenced the secondary art classroom by providing a historical foundation built on aesthetic, emotional expression, fact-based scientistic reasoning, personal identity, and cultural provocation. Unfortunately, the promise to increase the development of critical thinking and creativity has gone largely unkept, hindered by the inherent theoretical implications associated with the pursuit of facts, feelings, power, and empathy. At best, modernism and postmodernism promote the exploration of individually-created realities which renders morality and thought relative and thus empty. At worst, it justifies arrogant sociocultural themes via a provocative pursuit of identity based on assertions of authenticity and power. ! Proposed is a reimagining of modern pedagogy in the secondary art education classroom. Central to that task is the work of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, whose work remains vitally important to the field of art and art history. Coomaraswamy's scholarship advocates that for art to be educational, study must include an exploration of the theories behind the artist's work "in order to understand the things they made by art." Additionally, students must be free to critically analyze those theories to determine their validity, a necessary component of Coomaraswamy's overarching theory that the education of art must challenge a student's worldview in order to determine whether different views of reality may be, in fact, truer than their own. !!!! !
Art - Study and teaching - Secondary
Art - Curricula
Education - Secondary - Curricula