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Controlling Ideas of the Horace Mann Elementary School: Art


by Edith C. Barnum 1906

Value of Art Work The value of art work in the first grade is not determined by the number of possible artists it may be training, but by the experience it offers each child for his development. Froebel proclaimed the need of providing the child with opportunities for self-expression in his school life. To-day, it is recognized that the child develops through self-expression. Any medium, therefore, which makes it possible for the child to gain power in giving concrete expression to his thoughts, which aids him in revealing himself to himself and to others, is of vital worth. It is because art study furnishes this opportunity for self-expression that its place in the curriculum is justified. Art instruction in the school, then, must result in self-expression. If it fails to gain this end, it ceases to be art and becomes a mechanical exercise, if not an injurious one. Much of the so-called art work in the past has been of this nature. Self-expression demands thoughts, ideas, and feelings, with power to reveal them to others. Art expression depends upon the proper balance of these two phases motive and technique. Because of this dual nature of art, each lesson so far as possible must be "a double process of new revelation to the child, and of the new revelation by the child." To give the child executive power without increasing his stock of ideas, and his ability to feel, or to awaken his ideas and feelings without increasing his power of expression, destroys the "harmony between the powers of insight and attainment." The preservation of this harmony influences the selection of subject-matter and the method of presenting the technique.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 7 Number 1, 1906, p. 42-57
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11588, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 6:45:53 AM

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  • Edith Barnum


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