An Educational Bridge across the Cultural Divide: Teaching Art to Science Students and Science to Art Students

By Ken Stange.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 13, 2014 $US5.00

The “two cultures” divide between art and science remains a problem, and it is aggravated by an educational system that compartmentalizes programs of study. Thus a course that focuses on the connection between art and science is a useful corrective. I have had extensive personal experience teaching such an unusual course, “The Psychology of Art and Creativity,” which is offered as a valid elective for both science and art majors. My experience is that both groups gain a much greater understanding and appreciation of each other’s chosen field of endeavour. It is important in such a course to include exposure to actual artworks in every genre, rather than primarily focusing on criticism and analysis. Personal subjective opinions have to be more openly welcomed than in the traditional academic approach, while making a clear distinction between personal preference and objective judgment. One useful pedagogical tool is an informal reflective journal where students write as much, or as little, as they want about each of the class themes. Also useful are online discussion forums where students can bounce ideas off of each other and share their enthusiasms.

Keywords: Creativity, Teaching, Art, Science

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2014, pp.25-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 13, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 309.453KB)).

Prof. Ken Stange

Professor Emeritus (Retired), Psychology, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada