Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan
Chapter 3: Presences and absences: a critical analysis of recent research about creativity in visual arts education
Over the years, I have noted changing support for creativity research in art education from a high point in the 1960s and 1970s, to its fall during the 1980s, and now to its very recent popularity. Creative self-expression in art education was a child-centered approach that had its roots in psychology and was dominant in the field as early as the late 1930s and lasted for over 50 years (Zimmerman, 2009). There was an intense interest in creativity, both nationally and internationally, in the late 1930s and 1940s and continuing into the 1970s. By the early 1980s creativity research in art education had fallen out of favor due in part to the influence of the Getty Center for Education in the Arts with its emphasis on a subject-matter-centered pedagogy through attainment of skills and understandings in four targeted visual arts disciplines (art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art production). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, art education research focused on community-based and multicultural art education. By the late 1990s, with the advent of an expanding technological and social communication environment, research in art education turned its emphasis to themes of global, intercultural, visual culture, and arts-based practices.
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