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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Curriculum for sculptures of the human figure in secondary schools : an historical, critical, and studio approach Philipps, Agness


This study is to serve as curriculum resource for the teaching of sculpture in secondary schools. The programme was developed to aid a curriculum based on historical and critical discussions of art, and on studio activities in the area of sculpture of the human figure. It is to further the 1984 implementation of the Provincial Art Curriculum for Secondary Schools, grades 8 to 12. To ascertain the usefulness of such a resource, a survey of British Columbia art teachers was carried out in February 1980 which confirmed this need. A reaction to and evaluation of the major areas of the study: the history of art, important concepts and several themes of sculpture, and studio processes for the making of sculpture of the human figure were sought from British Columbia art teachers in February 1983, and from Burnaby art teachers in October 1983. Respondents confirmed the usefulness of this curriculum resource. The study makes use of a set of 431 slides in which the history of sculpture of the human figure is illustrated, from Prehistory to the present time. Examples are presented of all cultures of the world, which permit the use of the human figure as a subject. Such broad coverage was considered important in view of the multicultural roots of British Columbia secondary school students. In order to delimitate the study, the theme of the human figure was chosen for several reasons: it is the most common image in sculpture; it consists of great complexities of form; it is a most expressive tool for the portrayal of the human condition. Adolescence is a time of considerable growth and sensitivity and is therefore an appropriate time for the formation of self-concept which is greatly influenced by physical appearance. It is posited that the study of a great variety of sculpture of the human figure furthers adolescents' self-acceptance. Although the study deals with sculpture of the human figure, the same methodology might be used for other areas of the visual arts. It is meant to provide viable and practical assistance to art teachers in the discussion of the history of art as related to the history of humankind, in the clarification of major concepts of sculpture, in the critical analysis of themes of sculpture, and in the production of creative works by students.

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