Pedagogy and Art

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Burning ghost
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Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 7th, 2018, 11:20 am

An important part of anyone’s education is that which allows the student to create art and practice in different artistic media. What is there to learn in art and what can be taught?

“Artistic appreciation” is a term frequently met with strong opposition and derision. If the subject of “art” is to be of use to a student a degree of “appreciation” seems like a viable start. Can students be taught to “appreciate” something more? Obviously a student can be taught to “appreciate” - menaing “understand.” In this sense an “appreciation” of art can be arrived at through a students understanding of a medium through the techniques involved and displayed.

The first step then is the the students schooling. To practice the techniques of artisry; to paint, draw, dance, sing, write, etc.,. As the students try techniques they come to understand the “feeling” of producing a piece of art and all that goes with it. If, however, a student becomes adept enough to fashion an accurate reproduction of another’s art have they really learnt about “art” or “technique”; is there a difference?

As an analogy the skills required physically to fight are obvious. Two people fight and, more ofen than not, one remains standing. It could be said that they both use the same technique and simply that one had “better” technique than the other; but what if someone new approached the victor and fought in a different “style”, with inferior ability compared to his fellows disciplined in this “style”, and came out as victor? Obviously the better “style”, not technique, wins out.

Effectively we’re talking about creativity and general adaptability. It may simply be that the new “style” is a fad, a novelty, and that soon enough the fighter of the old school will simply adjust how they play out their technique in order to beat the new “style”. The question here is to ask if art follows this same basic principle, how artistry differs, and practical measures to be taken to nourish the budding artists?

This is not meant to be an examination of artistic critique. What strikes me is how we critique the methodology of teaching art and what is the best way to nurture the “artist within”?
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Burning ghost
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 9th, 2018, 2:06 pm

Does the above beg the question of “art” being nothing other than creative impetus? Some expression of inner turmoil/disharmony brought to bear on the world about the individual (and “about”!) - a natural movement, and search, made active with some hidden praxis of “belief” in a “better” complimentary existence with the body of phenomena set before it.

By this can it be said that “art” is the embodiment of the process of discovery what is deemed “better” - be it in some minute range or of a more expansive subject.

If we take o the proposition of art being the human “creative impetus” then in terms of Pedagogy and Art how can this be “taught” if at all? On the surface it doesn’t see correct to say creativity can be taught - if so then the of teaching art shifts to another aim; that is to expose students to a fecund environment in which any creative capacities they have are realised quickly to enable full fruitition of these capacities: at minimum to set out the fullest reasonably possible exposure.

To create such a fertile environment it makes sense for us to then look at all the data we can in order to understand the human capacity for creativity and what other aspects of humans, if any, come into play when trying to understand the machinations of creativity.
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Hereandnow
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Hereandnow » September 9th, 2018, 8:35 pm

BG
Can students be taught to “appreciate” something more?
A fair question. A great deal of what one loves in art has little to do with explicit education, I would hazard. It is what strikes our fancy before our fancy has any help from outside sources. But once an art lover is there, possessed by an aesthetic, does the learning about the formal features, the contrapuntal constructions in Beethoven, the chiaroscuro of Carravaggio, and so on: does this really help aesthetic appreciation? Or is it just knowing more for better understanding? I look at Munch's Scream and I get it instantly. But here, it is not so much the art as the interpretative values I bring into it, and these go to general liberal education. Once a person reads Baudelaire Flowers of Evil, or Sassoon's war poetry, as i am now, t he Scream comes alive with horror. I am crazy for Maxfield Parrish, but it is Wordsworth that stirs the soul's sublime beauty (one might put it) that allows it to come forth.
It is interpretative possibilities derived from a broad education that make so much of art accessible and meaningful.

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 12th, 2018, 2:38 am

Wordsworth and you would not get along very well, HAN. By the time he was in his mid-thirties, Wordsworth was a crotchety, old , self-righteous political Conservative ( a high "King and Country" British Tory who was very impressed by Edmund Burke, just like me :) ) . He would never have invited a disreputable, liberal progressive leftist, like yourself to "Dove Cottage" to chat about poetry over tea and scone !

I agree with you that good (aesthetic) taste can be cultivated in young people when they are taught how to properly appreciate the artistic masterpieces of Western culture. But, remember, to fully experience for oneself, the intensely spiritual beauty in the poetic works of a genius like Wordsworth or, say, Shelley, takes a lot of good old fashioned hard work and effort, a lot of disciplined study; not to mention an experienced teacher who has an expert knowledge of his canon.

Don't forget also, that it was due to the protests of PC liberal progressives like yourself , HAN,that that "dead, white, elitist, Western males" such as Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Southey,Tennyson, Shakespeare and Co were all banished from the English classrooms of of modern high schools so that our kids could study watered-down neo-Marxist crap like "The Vagina Monologues", or transgender, "YA fiction" drivel like, "The Art of Being Normal" !

Shame, HAN, shame !!



Regards

Dachshund

Steve3007
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Steve3007 » September 12th, 2018, 2:56 am


Dachshund
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 12th, 2018, 3:13 am

HAN...



Then sing ye, Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the Tabor's sound!
We in though will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.



Regards

Dachshund

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 12th, 2018, 3:51 am

I gather this is a relatively recent statutory requirement for the GCSE English curriculum, though Steve ? Still, it is good to see indeed - a very sound Tory measure from Britain's current Conservative government ! The same government that has directed OFSTED and HMI to check that all of your secondary schools are now actively teaching kids "Traditional British Values". ( "Traditional British Values" , BTW, means traditional, White, Anglo-Saxon ENGLISH values, Steve !)


Regards


Dachshund

Burning ghost
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 12th, 2018, 4:16 am

With all due respect Sausage Dog **** off and go and derail someone else's thread please.

Address the OP and following post. The question is about how and if art can be taught.

My argument is simple enougb. It is to frame classroom education around practicing the techniques of different mediums in order to learn appreciation of technique first and foremost because I don't think creativity can be "taught" only appealed to.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 12th, 2018, 4:20 am

I expect more than a link to UK GCSE's.

If you've nothing to say don't post irrelevant links thanks (esp. to appeal to Sausage Dogs vendetta.)
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Dachshund » September 12th, 2018, 6:15 am

Burning ghost wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 2:06 pm

If we take o the proposition of art being the human “creative impetus”
BG, you need to start will a realistic basic definition of what art is

Art, BTW, is not equivalent to the human "creative impetus".

Oppenheimer could be said to have channelled a great deal of "human creative energy" into designing and then actually making the world's first nuclear bombs. Most people would say, however, that when Oppenheimer's Hydrogen bombs exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, what was happened was not art... what was communicated to those who were not instantly annihilated by /obliviated by these explosions was nothing to do with beauty or the (aesthetic) sublime.



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Dachshund

Burning ghost
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 12th, 2018, 6:32 am

Sausage Dog -

Thanks for coming back to the topic. I am defining “Art” here in the sense of what happens in lessons at school. Of course literature is an art form but I’m more interested in sculpture, drawing, and painting. I imagine you had art class at school like everyone else.

My question is what is it that can and/or should be taught? I don’t see how it can be taught in any way other than through trying out various mediums and techniques.

I am not here to discuss “art” exactly. I am more interested in teaching (hence the title of the thread) because I find it an interesting subject. What do you think about teaching “art appreciation” and how successful do you think such ideas could be if altered? Within literature, especially poetry, cetain techniques can be analysised and brought to the students attention, in painting things like perspective can be exlpained along with how the eye is drawn toward certain focal points depending on the heometry of the composition - but a lot of this seems quite dry even though it is obviously important when studying art.

Critique in and of itself is a very interesting subject.
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Steve3007
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Steve3007 » September 12th, 2018, 6:58 am

Burning ghost wrote:I expect more than a link to UK GCSE's.

If you've nothing to say don't post irrelevant links thanks (esp. to appeal to Sausage Dogs vendetta.)
Fair point. Although it was only a little tiny post that I didn't think would get in anybody's way.

One point I'd like to raise about art appreciation: As I understand it, it's not just about understanding the use of artistic technique. It's about learning to appreciate art in its historical context, to better understand the reasons for the various artistic movements and how those movements relate to analogous movements in other area of life such as politics, religion and literature. the Pre-Raphaelites, for example, with their links to Romanticism can be traced to a reaction again industrialisation.

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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Steve3007 » September 12th, 2018, 7:56 am

Hereandnow wrote:A great deal of what one loves in art has little to do with explicit education, I would hazard. It is what strikes our fancy before our fancy has any help from outside sources. But once an art lover is there, possessed by an aesthetic, does the learning about the formal features, the contrapuntal constructions in Beethoven, the chiaroscuro of Carravaggio, and so on: does this really help aesthetic appreciation? Or is it just knowing more for better understanding?
This is true to some extent. But I would say that some appreciation of the cultural environment in which the artist lived/lives is probably essential to the full appreciation of almost any art. Especially if it's a culture that we do not personally live in.

Take, for example, this portrait by Holbein of two distinguished ambassadors:

Image

I'm told that in a portrait like this, every object has political significance. Also, at the bottom of the painting, there's a distorted picture of a skull that can only be seen in correct proportion if you view it from an extreme angle. (The original is in the National Gallery in London and I've seen it from this angle myself. It's quite clever.) Apparently these kinds of tricks were quite fashionable, and the skull itself also has significance.

It seems clear to me that some kind of appreciation of this kind of context is useful for appreciating the work.

Burning ghost
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Burning ghost » September 12th, 2018, 9:07 am

Steve -

That is the kind of contentious issue I was hoping to arise from this. Personally I believe a piece of art should be able to stand the test of time purely on it’s aesthetic merit rather than the historical context - this is not to say I believe the historical context is unimportant or frivolous.

I would strongly argue in favour of historical context in the medium of writing. History obviously being a record of events in writing puts written art firmly within a historic context. Whilst I would say listening to Mozart or gazing at a painting by Dali, although possibly enhanced , if you understand the cultural context and times of these people it doesn’t affect the underlying objectivity of the artwork itself.

Given that I’m talking about pedagogy in particular I do think your point is important. Appreciation of art in a historical context may lead a student who has not interest in actually painting to maybe dabble and try it for themselves once they see how much poetry and prose was used to express emotions of the time. Written art would, I imagine, be of more appeal to them than audio/visual stuff.

H&N -

It is the “little to do with explicit education” that interests me. If actual intruction does little then what is the subject of “art” for? My position is that exposure to art through practicing the techniques will give an understanding if the talent and dedication involved if nothing else. I don’t really think art class should be a place to tell students how to appreciate art as “art” (if you get what I mean?), yet it should at least equip them with some technique and knowledge of how to set themselves onto the road of discovering what art is to them for themselves.

Personally I am stringly in favour of “facilitating” rather than “teaching”. My view is that the “teacher” is more of a “student” than the “student” themselves - meaning the students, by being students, unconsciously guide the teacher; and “good” teachers are aware of this and continually amending theri approach from student to student and subject to subject.
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Hereandnow
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Re: Pedagogy and Art

Post by Hereandnow » September 12th, 2018, 9:56 am

Dachshund
Wordsworth and you would not get along very well, HAN. By the time he was in his mid-thirties, Wordsworth was a crotchety, old , self-righteous political Conservative ( a high "King and Country" British Tory who was very impressed by Edmund Burke, just like me :) ) . He would never have invited a disreputable, liberal progressive leftist, like yourself to "Dove Cottage" to chat about poetry over tea and scone !

I agree with you that good (aesthetic) taste can be cultivated in young people when they are taught how to properly appreciate the artistic masterpieces of Western culture. But, remember, to fully experience for oneself, the intensely spiritual beauty in the poetic works of a genius like Wordsworth or, say, Shelley, takes a lot of good old fashioned hard work and effort, a lot of disciplined study; not to mention an experienced teacher who has an expert knowledge of his canon.

Don't forget also, that it was due to the protests of PC liberal progressives like yourself , HAN,that that "dead, white, elitist, Western males" such as Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Southey,Tennyson, Shakespeare and Co were all banished from the English classrooms of of modern high schools so that our kids could study watered-down neo-Marxist crap like "The Vagina Monologues", or transgender, "YA fiction" drivel like, "The Art of Being Normal" !

Shame, HAN, shame !!
On the left, we have to put up with excess just as you do on the right with your goose stepping nazis, your racial insanity. And Wordsworth's personality has nothing to do with the poetry. At most it is....disappointment.

Cultivation has at its principle thrust, exposure. We love what we know, and the art appreciation is to art what grammar instruction is to language use: useful to know, perhaps, but not that helpful in the aesthetic appreciation. The study of Beethoven's compositional features does not make it more beautiful to behold.

No shame at all. Those who want changes in curriculum to reflect multicultural changes in society are right. It has always been that the old yields to the new. Used to be that scholar knew Latin, even Greek, studied Cicero and Quintilian, Dante, read Plato. Now this is all but gone, relegated to to that mausoleum of literary obscurity, the Classics. It is not all good. Not at all! Shakespeare is on the way out, as is philosophy itself! But that is the way of it. I fight to retain a lot of the old ways, but still a liberal through and through elsewhere.

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