An analysis of the presentation of art in the British primary school curriculum and its implications for teaching
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AbstractThis paper presents an analysis of the way art is conceptualised in the British Primary School curriculum and provides an historical framework that maps an evolution of ideas that have shaped the way art is presented in the modern day Primary curriculum. In order to achieve this a Foucauldian style genealogical analysis is utilised to trace the discourses (systems of meaning) surrounding the nature of children’s artistic development and how these discourses are used in the present day British Primary Curriculum to construe art in different ways. The analysis in this paper is threefold. It explores the presentation of art in the curriculum as (i) an expressive subject, (ii) a skills based subject, (iii) a subject which focuses on art history and art appreciation. Second the teaching positions associated with each approach are identified as follows (a) the facilitator, (b) the expert and (c) the philosopher; as well as the issues teachers face when adopting these positions. Third, attention is given to how these theoretical principles might be linked to practice. In so doing this paper contributes to the debate surrounding the value of art in the Primary curriculum and the way in which the curriculum serves to shape teaching practice.
CitationHallam, J. et al (2007) 'An Analysis of the Presentation of Art in the British Primary School Curriculum and its Implications for Teaching', International Journal of Art & Design Education, 26 (2):206
JournalInternational Journal of Art & Design Education
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