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

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Elizabeth Bedford
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
Country of Research Data: 
Research in the area of gallery education indicates that whereas gallery educators twenty years ago felt obliged to analyse and explain artworks for viewers, gallery educators today see the viewer as an active agent in the construction of meaning. This implies that gallery educators seek to empower students by encouraging them to interpret artworks. This notion is based on the premise that knowledge is socially constructed, determined by the individual’s respective background and experiences. The role of art gallery educators today is subsequently both complex and demanding as they strive to “engage” students and to involve them in the process of interpretation. Using different strategies and approaches it is the art educator’s ability to “engage” students and to stimulate them to actively construct meaning for themselves that appears the main objective of any lesson.  In Bourdieu’s terms this involves a process of providing students with “cultural capital”, namely the kind of knowledge pertaining to the field of art education, its language, content, logic and aesthetic “grammar”. Such art language is needed for students to think, act and talk in relation to the social orthodoxies and heterodoxies established by the field and it is the importance of achieving this outcome that is the focus of this paper.
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