Visual Culture in Art Education

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The purpose of the article is to discuss art education in terms of the broadening realm or visual culture and to the theorize about curriculum change. Although scholars in art education and other fields have begun to develop theoretical underpinnings for understanding visual culture, the topic from an educational perspective remains severely under theorized. A theoretical work needs to be done in order to promote appropriate interpretations and applications of visual culture in art education, based on “ Curriculum Change for the 21 st century; Visual Culture in Art Education “ (Kerry Freedman & Patricia Stuhr).

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They have drawn on scholarship from inside and outside of the field to lay a foundation for curriculum theory and support the argument for broadening the domain of art education by presenting the visual arts in their contemporary, sociocultural context. All of us live in an increasingly image-saturated world where television news may control a persons knowledge of current event, where students spend more time in front of a screen than in front of a teacher.

The visual culture is pervasive and it reflects as well as influences in general cultural change. An increasing number of visual culture objects and images shapes not only art education on 21st century but also the intergraphical and intertextual connections between visual forms ( Freedman, 2000,2003 ). The conceptual and physical interactions of various images and artifacts with their meanings are fundamental to the way in which the visual arts are interpreted and understood, art now crosses many old borders of culture and form.

Knowledge of what has traditionally been considered fine art objects and “ good” taste can no longer be seen as the only visual cultural capital to serve elementary, secondary or higher education students. Fine art is still of great value in broader, creative and critical exploration, the global meaning is a more appropriate focus if we want our students to understand the importance of visual culture.

Opinion Of The Article

The global visual culture has expanded beyond products to ideology, spirituality and aesthetics, this can be useful tool when coopted for positive educational purposes ( Freedman and Stuhr ). As a result of the expanding , the influences in the information of identity and lived experience of art education has a new global significance. Through lived experience with the increase range, availability and speed of visual form, many art educators have come to understand that is visual culture is in a continual state of becoming and should be taught as such progressive learning. They discuss the condition of contemporary world that contextualize art education and lead to changes in the production also study by the students. As we learn, we change, constructing and reconstructing ourselves. The social issues and cultural identities encounter the process to educate people , recreate our social consciousness.

The influence of visual culture on identity occurs on personal and communal levels. Various aspects of personal identity are made up of many cultural bits. Culture is a collage of many cultural identities that are selected and translated on a continuing basis (Clifford,1988). Far from being unified all, these identities include age, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, the exceptionality (giftedness, differently abled, health), language,ethnicity, religion and political status. The more that is learned about visual culture, the better we can grasp the concept of identity and the more that is learned about the various members of a particular group, the more richly we can understand their visual culture (Stuhr. 1999).

We now experience technology as reality and appropriate visual culture as life experience, turning it into attitudes, actions and even consciousness ( Rushkoff,1994). While we are being shaped by technological visual culture, the process illustrate one of the parts visual technologies plays in the fusion of education and entertainment as well as in the collapse of boundaries between student culture and corporate interests. Todays visual arts have moved beyond painting and sculpture.

In part, visual culture inquiry challenges traditional form of ats education because it is sensitive to the social and cultural issues. The foundation of art education conceptualized as visual culture inquiry is a matter of teaching for life in and through the visual art. It helps students to recognize and understand the ambiguities,conflict,nuances, and ephemeral qualities of social experience, much of which is now configured through imagery and designed object. Perhaps the people most influenced by visual culture are children and adolescent. Students incorporate the social codes, language, and values of visual culture into their lives (Freedman&wood. 1999; Tavin, 2001)

Next, art education responds to industrial training by carries with it regimented, mechanistic training and the reproduction of traditional forms of knowledge through group conformity. Today the business community has change from a focus modern, industrial production techniques of postmodern market information and services, in which home loans and vacation can be bought on the web. Children learn about outer space through role-play computer games, and people access map through satellite connection in their car.

Recently,general curriculum theorist have been struggling with the project of reconceptualizing curriculum from postmodern perspective (Giroux,1992;Pinar,1998Pinar,Reynolds Slattery & Taubman 1996). As a result,curriculum contains and reflects the interests of individuals and social groups. Patrick Slattery(1995). He is suggested that curriculum should focus on issues of the self, because that is where learning takes place, and he argues that educators can use the concept of autobiography to better understand educational condition.

Art education should help student know the visual arts in their integrity and complexity, their conflicting ideas as well as their accepted object, and their connections to social thought as well as their connection to other professional practices. An authentic perspective of assessment and curriculum through community discourse. Criteria for assessment must be developed through community debate, but not allowed to be trivialized through excessive fragmentation and overassessment(Boughton,1994,1997).


Teaching visual culture requires new curriculum and instructional roles,content, and strategies to shift the focus of the field from narrow,conventional approaches to open process of creative and critical inquiry. Art teachers should be educated to become involved citizen in the various communities in which they live and work. Teachers education programs need to prepare teachers to act as facilitators of student creative and critical inquiry. Art classroom must be conceptualized as multitasking arenas where images and object cross over and are produced and discussed to lead students and teachers through the investigation of ideas, issues, opinions, and conflict.

Through technological advancement, visual culture is becoming increasingly pervasive and affecting the lives of students and teachers worldwide. The professional field must respond to the challenge of this significant social change by educating new art teachers and retraining current art teachers to use technology to create students who aware of the world they live in and take an active responsible role in improving education system in school.

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