In this paper we argue that the arts (visual arts) constitute a kind of an expressive gesture (as conceived by the French philosopher M. Merleau-Ponty), and on the basis of this hypothesis, we shall try to show that they can fulfil the presuppositions required to be addressed in comprehensive and meaningful school programs. Our central argument is that artistic activity is an expressive activity par excellence: it is an “advent”, an original operation, i.e., which, constitutes a sign as a sign, implants a meaning in that which did not have one and thus, inaugurates an order and founds an institution or tradition. Accordingly, this meaning is on principle a meaning in genesis, ever to be re-created and re-interpreted. Given that, we claim that just as the arts are an attempt to visually articulate meanings, to create meaningful forms, correspondingly art education is an attempt to cultivate children’s ability to grasp, understand and respond to such meanings available from art’s expressive forms. We maintain that the role of art education is to facilitate access to various artistic approaches and to help to the development of a reflective attitude towards their significance as expressive advents (as described above).
|Keywords:||Art, Art Education, Expression, Meaning, Advent|
Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, University of Patras, Athens, Greece
Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
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