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Enhancing children’s art appreciation and critical thinking through a visual literacy-based art intervention programme

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Implementing an art-appreciation programme enabled a group of 5- and 6-year-old children to explore artists and their artworks and to understand artistic/aesthetic elements through a systematic sequence investigation. This study examines the impact of a sixteen-week art programme based on a visual literacy theory focusing on children’s art appreciation and critical thinking in Korea. Using mixed methods, data were collected through measurement of children’s appreciation and critical thinking ability, interviews with teacher and class observations. Quantitative analysis demonstrated significant effects of the art intervention programme on children’s abilities to appreciate art and artists and think critically about them. Three qualitative themes emerged: (1) deepening understanding of art, (2) experimenting with art, and (3) expressing themselves through art. Suggestions and implications for curriculum and research are provided.
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Keywords: Korea; art appreciation; critical thinking; early childhood education; mixed methods; visual literacy theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Wheelock College, USA 2: Purdue University Northwest, USA 3: Deagu University, Republic of Korea 4: Kyungpook National University, Republic of Korea 5: Ball State University, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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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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