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The status of art and art history in the secondary school curriculum: An instrumental multiple -case study

Norma Jeanne Coret, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to discover and understand those factors that determine the status of art and art history in the secondary school curriculum. Since the Back to Basics Movement came into the education scene, Art Education has encountered major challenges including justifying its very inclusion in K–12 curricula. ^ Participants, administrators, curriculum coordinators and art teachers, from three Western Iowa schools were interviewed. Data was also collected from observations, field notes and perusal of documents. An extensive literature review contributed significantly to the understanding of the problem. ^ For curriculum shapers (administrators and curriculum coordinators), undergraduate studies and interests were reflected in decisions regarding curriculum. Purposes and functions of Art Education were seen as entwined in appreciation, culture and the finer things in life-nice, but not necessary. Relevancy occurred when the art curriculum was given a dual focus: Applied Art and Fine Art. ^ The traditional view of the elective status for Art education is seen by some educators as set in stone. Pre-service administrators should be provided with an appropriate means to evaluate art programs. Pre-service studies for art specialists should included added emphasis on communication and PR. Other recommendations include: (1) Define Fine Arts as visual and performing arts only. (2) Increase emphasis on integrated curricula for pre-service art education specialists. (3) Change the name of university-level Art Appreciation courses. Encourage university Art History instructors to adapt course content for non-art majors to focus on consumerism. (4) Encourage State Departments of Education to mandate Fine Arts' credits for high school graduation. (5) Encourage pre-service art education specialists to regard administrators as consultants and co-workers enlisting their help and sharing ownership of programs. ^

Subject Area

Education, Art|Art History|Education, Secondary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Coret, Norma Jeanne, "The status of art and art history in the secondary school curriculum: An instrumental multiple -case study" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9967414.