Art and Cognition: Integrating the Visual Arts in the Curriculum

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Teachers College Press, 2002 - Education - 201 pages
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In this in-depth text, the preeminent art education scholar Arthur Efland not only sheds light on the problems inhibiting art education, but also demonstrates how art contributes to the overall development of the mind. Delineating how the development of artistic interests and ability are important aspects of cognition and learning, he shows how art helps individuals construct cultural meaning, a crucial component of social communication -- building a foundation for lifelong learning that includes the arts.

In Art and Cognition, Arthur Efland:

-- Explains the cognitive nature of learning in visual arts -- debunking the persistent perception of the arts as emotive only.

-- Looks at recent understandings of the mind and intelligence to determine how they bear on questions of the intellectual status of the arts.

-- Explains how a cognitively oriented conception of teaching will change the ways that the arts are taught.

-- Discusses the ways in which new developments in cognitive science can be applied to arts education.

-- Describes how the arts can be used to develop cognitive ability in children.

-- Identifies implications for art curricula, teaching practices, and the reform of general education.


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This is a fantastic and eye-opening look at why art matters, where it sits in education, and how it affects and interconnects with cognition. As an art teacher's son, I find this a fantastic read for understanding why art is so critically required in school curricula.


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