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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Cindy Todd
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology
Title: The State of Art Education: Beyond Discipline Based Art Education
Dr. Sue Poppink, Chair
Dr. Andrea Beach
Dr. Tamara Rosier
Date: Friday, February 19, 2010 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Beltline Campus, Room 3009
Art Education, like all aspects of education, has experienced evolving trends throughout its development (Efland, 1990; Eisner & Day, 2004). Each new innovation has made its impact for a time and then made room for what was to come. This cycle of change typically occurs every 10 to 20 years (Rogers, 1962). For over 25 years, art education programs in institutions of higher education have largely advocated that the Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) teaching philosophy be taught to their students. Innovators are now pressing for change and improvements. Different factions demonstrate support for the various new developments they believe may be best for art education (Dobbs, 1998; Efland, 1990; Eisner & Day, 2004; Hamblen, 1988). This study sought to identify and evaluate emergent themes and innovative movements in art education teaching philosophy and to distinguish promising practices within the resulting classroom methodology.
Qualitative methods were chosen to create a grounded theory based upon the input from 20 participants, professors and administrators from the most well respected art education programs in institutions of higher education across the nation. Through the research it was discovered that participants wanted a combination of key elements from three emergent themes: DBAE, visual culture and meaning making. Participants identified the most effective components from each of these teaching philosophies for a contemporary, broad-based approach that in this study is referred to as Creative Iconology. The two words together, “Creative Iconology,” express the balance required between the intellectual and creative processes necessary to produce the desired artistic outcomes. This teaching philosophy provides students with art history and aesthetic concepts that are necessary and fruitful for the students’ knowledge base and for quality artistic production. Students learn to interpret visual images well enough to recognize and read hidden messages and avoid their undo influence. They learn how these messages are effectively communicated and learn how to develop meaningful messages for themselves while developing the skills and techniques required for an effective visual outcome. Together these elements produce an optimum learning environment for the visual arts classroom.