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Representing and practising meaningful differences in a well-structured but complex art curriculum

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This paper conceptualizes the secondary art curriculum as a well-structured but complex knowledge-domain, with the aim of emphasizing meaningful differences in the way creative grammar operates in the following gatherings of art practices: Pre-historic and non-European cultures; Ancient and European cultures before c. 1800; Romantic and Modern culture from c.1800 to c.1950; and Late-and Post-modern culture from c.1950 onwards. The gatherings are further differentiated into pre-modern practices of Gemeinschaft (community) and modern forms of Gesellschaft (association). Practices of Gemeinschaft use the creative grammar of accretion and the grammar of omission to emphasize meaningful differences. The earlier phase of Gesellschaft inherits the grammar of accretion and omission from Gemeinschaft in the attempt to sustain the expression of meaningful differences. The late- and post-modern phase of Gesellschaft adopts a nihilistic creative grammar to level such differences. Approaches to teaching the grammar of each gathering of art, and the related practices, are explored in a well-structured way by students using 'know-how' and 'know-that' grammar. By conceptualizing and teaching an art curriculum in this way, students develop the insightful knowledge to understand how their life-world, as embedded in a technological understanding of being and its technological nihilism, compares with alternative understandings of being as articulated by different cultural grammars.

Keywords: art curriculum; creativity; schemes of work; secondary education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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