UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Journal: 
Australian Art Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Paul Duncum
Refereed: 
Yes
Volume No.: 
14
Issue No.: 
2
Page numbers of article: 
48-55
Year of publication: 
1990
Country of publication: 
Australia
Country of Research Data: 
Australia
Language: 
English
Abstract: 
Recent curriculum developments suggest common ground on the basic methods of facilitating knowledge about art, but there remain two major discourses on the nature of art. Discourse analysis is outlined and applied to art. While the aesthetic discourse views art as objects in themselves and celebrates individuality and a personal, sensuous response, the social discourse assumes that art is a creation of discourse and that the art discourse is interconnected with social struggle and the exercise of political power. Rejecting the aesthetic position, the author proposes basing art education on a social discourse. This involves: (a) understanding the reactionary nature of the aesthetic discourse; (b) appropriating the aesthetic discourse; (c) recognizing that art is constitutive of social, political and economic pressures and processes; (d) celebrating the diversity of cultural experience, including (e) students' own cultural preferences, while also (f) acknowledging the historically determined and socially constructed nature of cultural experience, and finally (g) emphasizing art knowledge as social empowerment.
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