History of Art Education

  • (1800's) Closed-Ended Drawing Instruction

    (1800's) Closed-Ended Drawing Instruction
    In the 1800's art education was integrated in public schools in order to support the social order. The nation needed draftspeople and engineers, and so a curriculum of "closed ended" mechanical drawing was implemented. Drawing was taught as a science.
  • First Law Requiring Art Instruction (1870)

    First Law Requiring Art Instruction (1870)
    In 1870, In Massechusetts, the first law requiring art instruction in Massechusetts high schools was passed.
  • (1920's - 40's) John Dewey

    (1920's - 40's)  John Dewey
    In the 1920's John Dewey championed the "Child-Centered" approach as a response to the closed ended art instruction of the previous century. The child centered approach focused on the needs of the child as apposed to the needs of society. This approach utilized reletively unstructured art activities, to promote self expression and experiential learning. It was designed to be developmentally appropraite for the age of the child.
  • (1940's - 50's) 1947

    (1940's - 50's) 1947
    Viktor Lowenfeld continued the work of Dewey. Art education is focused on the holistic nature of the child. Art is seen as a humanizing and therapeutic activity. Creativity is nurtured through the freedom of expression.
  • Sputnik Launched: Back to Basics.

    Sputnik Launched: Back to Basics.
    The launching of Sputnik causes a scare in the American Public. Public education responds with a "Back To Basics" approach for the benefit of the social order. Art is scene as "soft" and lacking in substance.
  • (1960's) Back to Basics

    (1960's) Back to Basics
    Because Art Education is seen as "soft," much art instruction also takes the "Back to the Basics" approach. This represents a shift from the experiential child centered approaches to a movement of presenting art as a "body of knowledge" focusing on content and structure. This "Subject Centered" approach grew gradually over the years to become "Dicipline Centered" art education.
  • (1980's) DBAE

    (1980's) DBAE
    In the 1980's the subject centered approach to art education became formalized as DBAE or Discipline Based Art Education. Infusing the curriculum with content and structure, art educators sought to validate art instruction in public schools by making art instruction more similar to instruction in other academics subjects such as math and science. DBAE focused on 4 components of art instruction including Production, Criticism, Aesthetics, and Art History.
  • (1990's) DBAE Evolves

    (1990's) DBAE Evolves
    Throughout the 1990's many art instructors critiqued DBAE for its tendency to get away from studio art production. DBAE evolves by the inclusion of Multi-Cultural Educational philosophies. Art teachers try to balance the Subject and Child centered approaches to find art instruction that attends to the needs of the child, while considering the needs of society.
  • (1990's) Goals 2000: Educate American Act

    (1990's) Goals 2000: Educate American Act
    Goals: 2000: Educate America Act was a standards based education reform project started in the 1990's which identified the arts as "core subjects" equal in importance to the academic subjects, and mandating their teaching in grades k-12. Called for the creation of National Visual Art Standards.
  • (1994) Visual Art Education Standards

    (1994) Visual Art Education Standards
    The first iteration of National Visual Art Education Standards is released by the NAEA.
  • (2014) New National Visual Arts Standards

    (2014) New National Visual Arts Standards
    The new and updated national visual arts standards are released.