Haanstra, Folkert
The Netherlands
R.48 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 17:50 - 18:20, Room Aula
Self-initiated artworks and school art
Most art teachers know that there are differences between school art and the activities in visual arts that students undertake outside school. Some art teachers know about and are interested in these self-initiated art works of their students, others do not know or do not want to know (e.g. Wilson, 2003). In this research project we want to shed more light on the practice of self-initiated art works in relationship to the products and assignments in the visual arts at school. The main questions are: 1. What are the characteristics (form and content/themes) of self-initiated art works and what are the functions of these art works for their makers? 2. What kind of formal and informal learning takes place in the production of self initiated art works? 3. What is the actual relationship between self initiated art works and school art? We interviewed 55 students (aged between 11 and 14 years old) from different schools of primary and secondary education, as well as their art teachers. The students brought with them examples of self-initiated art works as well as school art. Interviews and (photographs of) the art works were analyzed by means of the qualitative data analysis software N6. This paper presents and discusses the outcomes of the study. Even though the majority of self- initiated art works is related to popular art, different genres can be distinguished. The works have different psychological and social functions (family, peer group) for their makers. Learning outside school is partly implicit and informal (learning by doing), but also involves explicit learning through copying, learning from peers etc. Not surprisingly students emphasize that at home they can do what they feel like whereas in school they have to conform to the instructions and the criteria of the teacher. Some feel art assignments at school as a strait jacket, but others welcome it that external demands are made. Wilson, B. (2003). Of diagrams and rhizomes: Visual culture, contemporary art and the impossibility of mapping the content of art education. Studies in Art Education, 44(3), 214-229.
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