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A study of the art attitudes of Art 91 students in British Columbia's high schools, 1961-1962. Pohl, Lorraine Adina

Abstract

This is a study carried out in British Columbia in the spring of 1962. The information was gathered with the use of a questionnaire which was administered to 606 students enrolled in the course Art 91. The questionnaire asked for information which the researcher used as the basis for discovering the attitudes of the students. A person's behaviour was considered to be a valid indication of his attitude and so the four chapters which comprise the bulk of the paper deal with each of four behaviour expressions: reading, activities, personal earnestness and realism and artistic experience and the desire to communicate it. The questions whose answers revealed the student's attitudes in each of the categories were tabulated, compared with answers to other questions and discussed. Smaller groups of students within the Art 91 group were then taken apart from the rest and their scores on the questionnaire were compared with the Art 91 average. In the comparison between art club members and the larger group, it was found that there was a more positive attitude response to all the questions but one, which were compared. While more art club members kept a sketchbook, attended the lecture of a guest artist, and gave more 'original' answers to the subjective questions; it was found that art club members had experienced the use of fewer art media than the average for Art 91 students. Although the scores of art club members did seem better than those for the average among Art 91 students, it was decided that the difference was not great enough. A comparison of the academic achievement for art club members showed that the proportion of academic 'A' and 'B' students was far higher and that of academic 'D' and 'E' students much lower than those found in the Art 91 group as a whole. Three other groups of papers were then taken apart from the rest. In the question asking how students felt art would be useful to them after graduation, the students whose answers indicated that they planned an art career formed one sub-group. Those whose answers showed that they felt art would be useful to them in a non-art profession formed the second and those who felt that art would be of no use after graduation formed the third. It was found when comparing the answers of these students to both the subjective and the objective questions that group one scored consistently much higher than average, that group two scored slightly above average and that group three scored exceedingly low. When the academic achievements of these students were compared to the average for Art 91 students, it was found that there was no definite pattern but the students answering that art would be no use to them did show a slightly higher percentage of low academic achievers than did the Art 91 group as a whole.

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