Kouvou, Ourania
D.67 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 15:00 - 15:30, Room D2
The Cognitive Potential of Art in Schools
With this paper, I would like to investigate the cognitive contribution of art as a school discipline. This is today widely understood as a way of mainstreaming art education and further establishing its role in school curricula. The decline of modernism and its concentration on aesthetic experience as a distinctive feature of art education as well as the advent of postmodernist notions of art’s opening up to cultural and social considerations necessitates such an in-depth examination. This examination therefore is supposed to highlight the particular ways in which, due to its nature, art can be seen as a distinct way of leaning and making sense of the world that should be an integral part of curriculum. I propose to undertake this investigation through the examination of the notion of art as a symbol system in its own right involving cognitive processing. Therefore, the forms of representation through which meaning is constructed in art production and appreciation are understood as different from those employed in maths and language. Central to this thesis is of course the notion that art is a mode of inquiry that motivates metaphoric thinking in a way no other school subject does. In this way, art practice encourages distinct cognitive abilities such as, employing different perceptions of the world by joining unlike things through metaphor. In this investigation my guidelines have been Arthur Efland’s “Art and Cognition” and Prabha Sahasrabudhe’s “Design for Learning through the Arts” in the last issue of “International Journal of Education through Art”.
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