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Is the critique relevant? The function of critique in a studio art classroom, told three times

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Is the critique relevant? Art and design education is changing as we move deeper into the twenty-first century. This article will describe and investigate the critique from three vantage points: The first is a common sense narrative, the mythical ideal of critique presented in stories of how art should be taught. The second works to take apart this ideal, looking at how this formalized assessment is experienced by students and the symbolic ‘violence’ of authority-driven educational practices. The third perspective unpacks how we, as practitioners and educators in the field of art and design, understand meaning in artworks and what is described as valuable in assessment. The focus here is on the presentation of originality and the problem with a lingering adherence to Modernist notions of linear progress. ‘The function of critique in a studio art classroom’ re-examines critique and asks us to reframe classroom conversations of student artwork.
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Keywords: art teaching; artwork’s meaning; assessment; critique; originality; studio-art classroom

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Parsons School of Design

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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