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The effecting eye: An integrated approach to teaching history of photography

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This article describes and evaluates the curricular design and learning outcomes of History and Practice of Photography. This is an undergraduate course that integrates creative and theoretical components, which are traditionally taught separately, and often in different departments, in the study of the history of photography. Through interrogating contemporary visual culture with their eyes, words and cameras, students simultaneously study history and theory, examine divergent representational strategies through photographic assignments and deploy digital technologies as crucial tools for effecting personal, cultural and socio-political change. As such, the course offers a pedagogical shift away from the conventional delivery of art history surveys, in which lectures, examinations and research papers tend to predominate. This integrated approach sets out to create a multifaceted learning experience that fosters students' visual literacy, critical thinking, creative exploration and technological proficiency, all in the context of one class. The author proposes this curricular design as a template that could be extrapolated from, and applied to, other areas of visual studies in higher education.
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Keywords: art history; integrated curricula; photography; teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California, Merced, USA.

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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