"Doing" Art History in the secondary school years: In search of authenticity

Year: 2001

Author: McKeon, Penny

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this paper, I argue that art historical experiences are neither intrinsically elite nor exclusive in character. The purpose of the case is to interrogate the long-standing dilemmas of authentic practice of art historical concepts and performances in educational settings. The author proposes an inclusive and practical approach to teaching and learning about art history in the school years.

The approach deploys categories derived from the artworld to the generation of authentic and engaging art historical experiences. This strategy provides a framework that is appropriate to the range of interests and needs of secondary students. The author’s case is illustrated with reference to a selection of contemporary art historical exemplars. The anticipated pedagogical outcome of art historical learning is the inculcation of the student as a culturally shrewd, active lifelong audience for art.