Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity

download Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity

of 16

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity

  • 7/27/2019 Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity


    National rt Education ssociation

    Connecting Art, Learning, and Creativity: A Case for Curriculum IntegrationAuthor(s): Julia MarshallSource: Studies in Art Education, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Spring, 2005), pp. 227-241Published by: National Art Education AssociationStable URL:

    Accessed: 29/03/2014 03:50

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at.

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms

    of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    National Art Education Associationis collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to

    Studies in Art Education.

    This content downloaded from on Sat, 29 Mar 2014 03:50:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  • 7/27/2019 Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity


    Copyright005bytheNationalArtEducation ssociation

    ConnectingArt,Learning,andCreativity:A Case for CurriculumIntegrationJulia MarshallSan Francisco tateUniversity

    Theauthorargueshat substantive'rtintegrationarmonizes ithcontempo-rarypostmodernhoughtn arteducation ndrepresents strategyorteachingart n a postmodern ay.Bringing ogetherheoriesromcognitive cienceandmetaphorheory specificallyonnection ndprojection),he author howshowsubstantiveintegrationromotesearningndcreativity.mageshatconnectartand sciencearegivenas examples f substantiveintegrationn postmodernrtthatrevealmentalprocessesndcreatemeaning ndinsight hrough onceptual'collage.'Theseimageshelpteachers nd studentsunderstandhe conceptualbasisfor much postmodernart and give educatorsclues to cognitionandcreativeprocesseshatcanguide,deepen,andupdatepracticen artmakingndin teaching.Postmodern theorists endorse an art education where art is contextual-

    ized, boundaries between domains are blurred, and emphasis is placed oncontent in relation to form (Efland, Freedman & Stuhr, 1996; Hutchens& Suggs, 1997; Clark, 1996). Integration of art with other subjects iscongruent with these tenets of postmodernism because it relates ideas toform (shifting the focus of art education away from formal concerns tomeaning-making), crosses disciplinary boundaries to reveal conceptualconnections, and locates art in context with other disciplines. Mostimportantly for teachers, integration represents a concrete and feasibleapproach to teaching art in a postmodern way.Even with its attention to content, context, and boundary-crossing,postmodern art education has not explored fully the integration of artwith academic curriculum as a practice congruent with postmoderntheory. However, the topic of integration is slowly entering contemporarydiscourse in art education. We see this in 'issues-based art education,'which is a form of integration in which "social, political, and culturalissues become subjects to address in the teaching of art" (Gaudelius &Spiers, 2002, p. 3).

    Integration is also emerging in art education literature that exploreslearning and cognition in light of postmodern and visual culture theory.Freedman (2003) and Efland (2002) examine how new findings andtheories from cognitive science are shaping our understanding of learningand epistemology. These theories describe learning as essentially a situ-ated, socially-constructed, and culturally mediated process of makingmeaning. They emphasize the connections between the body, context,experience, culture, emotion, and high-order thinking (Freedman, 2003)and view the mind as an integrated system that unites symbol-processing

    Correspondenceregarding his articlemay be sent to theauthor at the ArtDepartment, SanFranciscoStateUniversity, 1600Holloway Avenue,San Francisco,CA94132.

    Studies in Art Education

    Studies n Art EducationAJournalf Issues ndResearch2005, 46(3), 227-241


    This content downloaded from on Sat, 29 Mar 2014 03:50:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  • 7/27/2019 Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity



    with sociocultural actors(Efland,2002). Conventionalnotionsof disci-pline-based epistemology are overthrown by these conceptions oflearning. Knowledgeis no longer thought of as divided into discretedomains,but is seen in terms of an integrated ystem(Freedman2003,Efland,2002). Freedman 2003) findsjustificationn these theoriesforthe embraceof visual culture as a conceptualgrounding or art learningand viewsthematic/conceptually-basedurriculumas a methodology orexploring art in context. Efland (2002) also finds justification forcurriculumintegration sawayof advancing earning:If the aim of education s to fullyactivate he cognitivepotentialof the learner,wayshaveto be found to integrateknowledge rommanysubjects o achievea fullerunderstandinghan would beprovidedby content treated n isolation.(p. 103)Efland(2002) findsart to be a propitious,earning-friendlyub for inte-grated earningbecauseart is the location wheresubjectiveand culturalinterpretationmeaning-making)remostopenlycelebratedndpracticed.Efland(2002) alsoexplores reativityn relationshipo cognition.Thesubjectof creativity s wherepostmodernismand cognitive psychologymay appearto be least compatible.While some postmoderntheoristschallenge he veryexistenceof creativity Barrett,1997), cognitivescien-tists persistin researchingt in orderto understandand demystifyit.Howeverdisparate ognitivescienceandpostmodernismmayappear, hefindings of cognitive science ultimatelymesh with postmodernismintheir challenge to the romantic modernist concept of creativityas amagicalprocessof self-expression arriedout by an isolatedindividual,and suggestthat creativityexists in its culturalcontext, often entailingrecycling,appropriation,reframingor adapting existing ideas to newconcepts.This article furtherexplores deas from cognitivescience andcognitive linguistics (metaphor theory) to help us understandsomespecificcontributionsintegrationbringsto learning,understanding ndcreativityn thepostmodernartclassroom.

    SubstantiveCurriculumIntegration"Atruly ntegrated urriculums organizedo show the connectednessof things,while an interdisciplinaryurriculums organizedn waysthatreinforcethe separateand discretecharacterof academicdisciplines"(Clark,1997, p. 35). Clark'sconceptof integrations in alignmentwithwhat I will referto here as 'substantiveintegration.'Substantiventegra-tion resistssimply depictingsubjectmatteroutsideart,addressingocialissuesthroughart or placingart in its sociocultural ontext.Substantiveintegrations a pedagogy hatgoesdeeperand broaderhantheseapplica-tions; it involvesmakingconceptualconnectionsthat underlieart andother disciplines.It revealssomethingof the core principles,structures,and practices of fields by moving beyond the most concrete level(depictingsubjectsmattersparticularo disciplines), o a more abstract

    Studies n ArtEducation28

    This content downloaded from on Sat, 29 Mar 2014 03:50:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  • 7/27/2019 Connecting Art, Learning, And Creativity


    A CaseforCurriculumIntegration

    level(tapping nto the concepts hatunderlie he disciplinesaddressed)othe most profound and conceptual level (revealing concepts that arecommonto art,the disciplineswith which it is integrated, nd the mindin general).Connectingart to other areasof inquiryin a substantive,ntegrativewaynot onlyrevealshefoundationsof eachdiscipline,butalso makes orsound pedagogy because it: (a) is congruent with the way the mindworks-how we think and learn;(b) highlightsand promotes earning,especially learning for understandingand transfer;and (c) catalyzescreativity.We find a strong theoretical rationale for these claims inconstructivistheoriesof learningand some of the new thinking n cogni-tive science hataddresseslearningandcreativity.

    Connection-Making and Cognition:Ideas from Cognitive ScienceThe literaturen cognitivesciencehasa recurringheme-connectionsareat the core of cognitionand consciousness.Neural-networkheory,firstproposedby Hopfieldin 1982, indicates hatcognitionoccurswhenneuralnodesin the brainareactivatedsimultaneouslyn net-likeconfigu-rations(Martindale,1995).Cognitivescientistscall this physicalprocessPDP, paralleldistributingprocessing,or 'connectionism' Solso, 1994).The neuralconnectionsn the brainare, n turn,directly onnected o theconceptualstructures f the mind, which mimic the neuralarchitecturefrom whichtheyemerge.Cognitive inguists,LakoffandJohnson(1999)makethiscrucial onnectionbetween hephysicalandthe conceptual:In shortwe formextraordinarilyichconceptual tructuresor ourcategories ndreasonabout th