Art History, Art Criticism, and Art Production

An Examination of Art Education in Selected School Districts, Volume I: Comparing the Process of Change Across Districts

by Milbrey Wallin McLaughlin, Margaret Ann Thomas, Susan J. Bell, Michael Day, Elliot W. Eisner, Robert Stake, Brent Wilson, Marjorie Wilson

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This report conveys the findings from a cross-site analysis of seven school districts that were implementing a discipline-based approach to visual arts education. A discipline-based approach incorporates four art disciplines in the classroom — art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art production. The study sought to identify the factors that generate support for a strong, substantive art education program in a district's curriculum, and what factors influence districts and teachers to maintain a discipline-based art education program. The study's findings suggest that to become "academically respectable" and support the factors necessary for change, a visual arts program must have these basic characteristics: an articulated conceptual base and a written, sequential curriculum that reflects this base.

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