School art is typically distinguished by the subject matter it denotes: visual art, music, dance, or drama. In this article, I suggest a new distinction among the arts genres used in the school, namely, "child art," "fine art," and "art for children." Rather than being categorized by subject matter, these three genres operate across the various media. Each genre is associated with different contents, pedagogies, and evaluation practices. Each is based on a separate set of ideologies and goals, related to different underlying assumptions about the nature of arts and arts learning.(1) Those assumptions are incompatible with each other on both the ontological level (what constitutes art) and the pedagogical level (how to teach it).
In the first part of the article I examine the day-to-day "operational curricula"(2) of the three art worlds in the subjects of dance and drama (which, when taught by specialists in the schools in which my colleagues and I observed, were taught as one subject), music, and visual arts. ...Show more