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Some notions of artistic creativity amongst history of art students acquired through incidental learning

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In the West, creativity may be admired and valued but what it means can be elusive. Rather than being the subject of discussion in the classroom, meaning generally develops incidentally. We elicited twenty final-year history of art students’ beliefs about artistic creativity in England using a questionnaire and interviews. The responses provided qualitative and quantitative data about these students’ notions of artistic creativity. Beliefs and clusters of beliefs were identified. Together, these were similar to those of western artists and art academics, but clusters of beliefs showed there were also narrow and deficient notions regarding the product, process and locus of creativity. Teachers in higher education should be aware that students’ responses may give the impression that their beliefs about art are sound when, in reality, they are unsound or narrow. This could have implications for employment, especially in a widening global economy.
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Keywords: art education; incidental learning; notions of creativity; undergraduate

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Durham University

Publication date: 11 October 2011

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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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