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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strategies for culturally-based art education : a qualitative methodology Andrews, Eleanor Margaret-Rose


In this thesis the proposal is made that a reconceptualization of art in education is needed to expand the framework of the discipline beyond the somewhat insular parameters of conventional production-oriented approaches. An expanded paradigm as proposed in this thesis would encompass the skills and constructs that would allow students to investigate fundamental relationships between art and life existing in any cultural setting. The review of literature provided contributes to the theoretical foundation for this view of art education by including the following: (a) a summary of anthropological and sociological approaches which help to identify possible research avenues for the study of art in culture; (b) an overview of issues related to the present state of multi-culturalism and education; (c) an examination of selected basic orientations and directions in curriculum development, with particular emphasis on qualitative approaches; (d) an examination of some of the major world-views which exist as perceptual variations among peoples, and which are reflected in their arts; and (e) a summary of the major developments which have provided the foundations for current culture-based work in art education, and which have helped to identify potentialities for the future. Based on this theoretical framework, a methodological model is presented to elucidate one possible qualitative approach to the study of art in cultural context. Each component of the methodology is described in detail, and each includes detailed summary charts. This is followed by a sample study illustrating one possible application of the use of the methodology. Finally, future needs are identified and recommendations are put forward to illustrate the potential of this type of methodology within the educational field as a whole.Fundamentally the methodology presented here provides a praxiological approach to the study of art, requiring that students learn to become responsible for their own actions by consciously investigating the inherent meanings of these actions on an on-going basis. The students are asked to become curriculum developers, cultural anthropologists, connoisseurs, critics, and craftsmen. In addition to encompassing essentially a hermeneutic-social adaptation orientation, this methodology also focuses on personal relevance by providing opportunities for the student to consider his/her personal role and "being" as an individual living in a cultural world. In essence it provides a means through which heuristic learning may be facilitated through dialectic interaction focusing on cultural themes. This interaction is carried out within four stages: investigation, criticism, production, and evaluation. The major aims for the program are identified as including: (a) learning to understand the functions and meaning of art in culture; (b) learning to appreciate the role of the artist/craftsman in cultural context; and (c) developing cultural competencies, i.e., sensibilities which would enable individuals to become responsible and responsive world citizens, capable of intelligent and creative cross-cultural identifications and interaction. It is posited that the study of art within this context can provide unique insights into cultural values and world-views, leading towards heightened cultural and artistic consciousness.

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