Why We Make Art

And Why it is Taught

Richard Hickman

Why We Make Art

Richard Hickman

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

195 pages | 15 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2010
Paper $28.50 ISBN: 9781841503783 Published September 2010 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

Governments around the world spend millions on art and cultural institutions, evidence of a basic human need for what the author refers to as “creating aesthetic significance.” Yet what function or purpose does art satisfy in today’s society? In this thorough and accessible text, Richard Hickman rejects the current vogue for social and cultural accounts of the nature of art-making in favor of a largely psychological approach aimed at addressing contemporary developmental issues in art education. Bringing to bear current ideas about evolutionary psychology, this second edition will be an important resource for anyone interested in arts education.

Tables and Illustrations
Preface to second edition
Foreword by Antony Gormley

Section One: Art and Art education
Art in education
     The place of ‘knowing and understanding’ art
     Developmental issues in art education
     Learning in art
     Concepts and art learning
     Aims, rationales and desirable outcomes
Concluding remarks for Section One
Notes and references for Section One
Section Two: Conversations and reflections –some ‘mini case-studies’
Some autobiographical reflections
People talking about their art making
Concluding remarks for Section Two
Notes and references for Section Two
Section Three: Issues in art and learning
The artistic personality
Creating aesthetic significance
Notes on imagination and expression
A few words on creativity
Art and schooling
Concluding remarks for Section Three
Notes and references for Section Three 
Section Four: Concluding chapter
Art as a fundamental human urge
Concept learning re-visited
The art curriculum
     On drawing
     The appreciation of visual form
     Assessing school art
The art room as a model for schools and schooling
Concluding remarks
Notes and references for Section Four

Appendix I: Coding system for determining levels of understanding in art
Appendix II: General Educational Aims and the Role of Art in Education
Appendix III: Barrett’s ’worthwhile outcomes...’
Appendix IV: Prompt Questions
Appendix V: Questionnaire on aims for art & design in education
Subject Index and Name Index
Review Quotes
Stephanie Baer | Education Review

"Hickman’s consideration of why we make art and why it is taught asserts his support for the creative potential inherent within art education. He doesn’t resort to championing one canon over another, nor does he completely discount any research he has addressed. His open and honest consideration creates a much-needed space for discussion within the realm of education. If more educators could gain this clarity of vision, our educative systems might one day reflect the imaginings of an artist. And, to that end, we might embrace our innate curiosity and allow ourselves the opportunity to see the world with the artistry and imagination Hickman knows and seeks for all."

Susan Paterson | International Journal of Art and Design Education
"Richard Hickman has described the complex workings in the art classroom with literary elegance. His sensitive and astute conceptualization of the many factors which surround the success of the art education domain emanates from the empirical evidence of his research, his depth of knowledge as an artist and art educator, and his experiences as a teacher and inspector within the British education system during the past three decades. "
John Baldacchino | Teachers College Record
"This book deserves close attention by those artists, teachers, and academics who identify themselves with art education not simply as a subject in the curriculum but as a way of understanding and engaging with a wider meaning in life."
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