According to UNESCO (2006), an education that value aesthetic experience enhances life conditions of individuals, society and humanity progress. Research shows that visual literacy and art appreciation activities not only improve student’s knowledge on art but also their critical thinking and empathic abilities. These effects are even most noticed in less advantaged students (Greene, Kisida et Bowen, 2013; Housen, 1992). Furthermore, among adults, studies show significant improvement of the visual attention after art appreciation activities are regularly held. Researches show improvement in concentration and observational abilities of participants transferable to other domains than the arts such as medicine, police work or general work performance (Herman, 2016; Naghshineh et al., 2008; Lazo et Smith, 2014). In elementary school, visual attention is essential in learning processes, not only in visual art but also in all school disciplines. It follows our interest in investigating the impact of longitudinal art appreciation activities on the attention quality of children in elementary school. When art appreciation is practiced regularly, could attentional processes of pupils (7 -10 years old) be enhanced? Our research is conducted with a group control experiment running over one full school year. We use an attention span tests designed for children (KiTAP – Kids Test for Attentional Performance, Knox et al., 2012) to collect data on attentional processes while applying VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) protocol for art appreciation with children.
Pedro Mendonça, Université du Québec en Abitibi Témiscamingue, Canada