Praxis: Theory and Practice


There is often a split between the theories of art education and between the actual practice of art education. There are many reasons to embrace theory and there are good reasons to be wary of theory. Theory that claims to have identified the best and only way of currently structuring art education is not in sync with postmodern times in which a variety of approaches and positions can be seen as equally valid, at least as starting points. Planning a curriculum based on theoretical positions, even interesting, up-to-date theories, can be dry and lifeless. "Authoring" art projects is an art form and needs to begin in an aesthetic, not only an intellectual impulse. Without the aesthetic impulse, that combines thinking, perceiving, and making in fresh ways, curriculum is a mere recitation of what has been, rather than an exploration of what can be.

Yet, theory can spark an intellectual and aesthetic impulse. Such thinking can transform and enliven an art education curriculum. It can encourage incorporating contemporary thinking about art and culture into the everyday life of the classroom. It can draw attention to important, but hitherto for, unnoticed aspects of the content of the curriculum. It can challenge us to step back from immersion in the beauty and complexity of the visual and material world to re-think why we do what we do.

The articles in this section are by teachers, artists, and professors whose ideas have contributed to the Contemporary Community Curriculum Initiative. Our goal is to present articles that will stimulate teachers to look through different eyes at their K-12 (and college) art rooms. It is by these shifts of perception – causing sometimes a slight and subtle change of emphasis or at other times a complete make-over of some aspect of the curriculum – that teachers continue to re-invent the practice, outcomes, and theory of art education in our schools.
Investigating the Culture of Curriculum
by Olivia Gude
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Rubric for a Quality Curriculum
by Olivia Gude
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Transitions in Art Education: A Search for Meaning
by Ronald W. Neperud
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Semiotic Pedagogy and Art Education
by Deborah L. Smith-Shank
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Color Coding
by Olivia Gude
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Drawing Color Lines
by Olivia Gude
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