National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2001


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 2:2, Fall/Winter 2001. Copyright © 2001 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In general, art survey and art history courses focus on the influence of culture on art and art on culture, and the changes in art from century to century or from any period to any period. When an art survey or art history section is taught at the honors level, what results is a class with fewer students moving at a faster pace so more material can be covered, the introduction of discussion into what is usually a lecture class, and a more concentrated study of the material presented. This, of course, is the case for many general education courses given honors designation. It seems to me, however, that something important is missing for the honors student who does not take two-dimensional or three-dimensional art courses. What is missing is the handson experience that is important in “fleshing-out” a more informed or, to use a term I will explain in arguing my case, a “wiser” honors student. In my opinion, an honors art course ought to incorporate three segments: lecture, a hands-on experience, and discussion after the first two segments. The teachings of Aristotle concerning what a wise man is plus some reflections on my own experience will be the basis for my insistence.