Teaching aesthetics in high school art : a description, analysis, and evaluation of teachers' interpretations and methodologies
Diaz, Delores M
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The purpose of this study is to determine the interpretation and implementation of the aesthetics component of the discipline-based curriculum by high school art teachers in Georgia. This study describes, analyzes, and evaluates high school art teachers’ understandings of aesthetics, the role of aesthetics in their organizing philosophy and curricular structure, the problems they encounter in teaching aesthetics, and their methodologies for aesthetics instruction. This study, in effect, determines the coherence and efficacy of the aesthetics component of the discipline-based art curriculum in Georgia by examining the extent to which theory about teaching aesthetics has been translated into practice.|Although the theoretical foundation for this research is qualitative, it triangulates both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis of three instruments: personal interviews, a survey questionnaire, and documents. Constant-comparative and content analysis techniques were used to analyze the interviews and the documents. Contingency tables, chi-square, and Spearman’s correlation were quantitative methods used to determine relationships among variables in the survey.|The three instruments all show that the aesthetics component has not been widely implemented for many theoretical and practical reasons: 1) the curriculum is poorly articulated, 2) teachers have weak training in the content and methods of teaching aesthetics, 3) teachers have only a vague understanding of aesthetics, 4) resource materials on aesthetics for the classroom teacher are scarce, and 5) readiness of students can be a problem in teaching aesthetics.|This research concludes with a conceptual model for aesthetics in the art curriculum and identifies the need for widespread initiatives to address three concerns identified in the study: 1) define aesthetics, its role in the art curriculum, and appropriate methodologies for instruction and assessment, 2) provide teacher training and resources for aesthetics instruction, and 3) establish a multi-directional web of communication to facilitate the alignment of theory and practice.