UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Journal: 
Australian Art Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Karen Maras
Refereed: 
Yes
Volume No.: 
33
Issue No.: 
1
Page numbers of article: 
20-28
Year of publication: 
2010
Country of publication: 
Australia
Country of Research Data: 
Australia
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

This paper outlines research focusing on the developmental significance of children's critical judgements of paintings in art. Rather than describe development in terms of visual competence, the study examines how advances in children's critical reasoning link to age-related shifts in beliefs about what artworks do regardless of stylistic conventions. Analysis of curatorial performances of 6, 9 and 12 year olds revealed characteristic patterns in critical reasoning representing shifts in a continuum of critical development. Findings show children gradually learn to ascribe pictures intentional meaning with age as proficiency in pictorial reasoning increases. Understanding changes in the kinds of theoretical bases underlying children's critical judgements enables educators to know when, and on what terms, to intervene in children's learning in art.

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