Changing Perspectives: Contemporary Art Practices in Primary and Secondary Art Classrooms


This presentation will be a literature review of research on Contemporary art practices in primary and secondary schools. The ability to understand and translate visual data is vital to one’s ability to navigate through a complex world (Thulson, 2013), therefore, acquainting students with Contemporary art practices is essential for a broader literacy. The ability to understand visual ‘language’ is a teachable skill that can empower the classroom teacher to enable their students in creative and critical thinking (Charman & Ross, 2006). One of the most challenging tasks art teachers face is to explain ‘meaning’ in art that is sometimes deemed vulgar, meaningless or shocking (Emery, 2002). Understanding the historical context of an artwork, appreciating the reasons for its creation, articulating their significance and participating in the art making process, can help students gain confidence in their own abilities. Contemporary art in the classroom encourages these skills and becomes an aid to higher-order thinking, problem solving and deep reflection (Cox, 2000). Art educators, empowered with a broad knowledge of contemporary art and culture and having an understanding of the connections between art of the past and contemporary art are better able to enact relevant art education in primary schools beyond overly teacher-directed activities (Page et al., 2006). Content include - Contemporary Art versus School Art, Contemporary Art as Age Appropriate, Curriculum Considerations, Cross-Disciplinary Considerations, Teacher Role and Approaches, Teacher-Student Power Relations, Teacher Challenges, Student Learning, Suitable Assessment - Formative vs Summative, Research Gaps and Directions for Future Research.

Author Information
Chor Leng Ching, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2017
Stream: Primary and secondary education

This paper is part of the ECE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon