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Title: Artful Thinking: Critical and Creative Thinking in Primary and Secondary Visual Arts Education
Contributor(s): Alter, Frances  (author)orcid ; Unsworth, Leonard  (supervisor); Paterson, David (supervisor); Reid, Jo-Anne (supervisor); Rauch, Kristen (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This study is an investigation into critical and creative thinking in visual arts education. It is often claimed that the development of critical and creative thinking amongst students is a central concern of arts education. Moreover, it is frequently assumed that critical and creative thinking result naturally from arts education because the discipline is innately creative. However, educational research suggests otherwise; namely, a more deliberate teacher-directed approach is required to foster these thinking skills amongst students. While a number of studies have highlighted the value of arts learning in promoting these kinds of higher order thinking skills, little has been documented about the educational approaches or strategies used to foster them. This thesis begins to fill this gap in the research by documenting perspectives and practices associated with critical and creative thinking in the visual arts classroom. The study explores the perspectives and practices of four experienced and competent art teachers and their students. Specifically, ethnographic case study methods are used to gather, analyse and triangulate significant data. Four different cases – two in primary and two in secondary school – are included in the study. Data was collected through observation records and interviews with teachers and students in these case groups. Through field-based data collection and subsequent data analyses, a series of descriptive portraits are created that illustrate different pedagogical approaches to teaching critical and creative thinking through the visual arts. These portraits reflect teacher practitioners' theories and the value they ascribe to training critical and creative thinking through art. In addition, they reflect the ways these teachers' theories and beliefs impact on education practices in their classrooms. While the four case studies could not possibly represent the realities of the broader field of art education, they are able to capture some of the diversity that exists in art teaching practices.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - Frances Alter
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Thesis Doctoral

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