A holistic model for learning in art




Boone, Nancy Shortes Davis

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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to develop a rationale and a model designed to assist teachers in implementing holistic educational practices. Literature was presented to provide (1) the basis for an awareness and understanding of the holistic movement, (2) a review of strategies and recommendations that relate to holistic education and, (3) a review of the theories of art education that relate to the holistic movement. The learning model was designed specifically for art education.

In the literature, holistic educational theorists advocated that educational emphasis be placed on the discovery of knowledge rather than merely the relating of knowledge. They advised that the process of education include concern for the interrelated functions of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.

The theoretical basis of the model presented in this study was that the goal of holistic learning would be achieved by using integration techniques that addressed the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the intellect and that utilized concomitantly the teaching strategies of assimilation, synectics and accommodation. These strategies were suggested by the literature. The cognitive domain was concerned with the recall of facts and the use of logical comprehension. The affective domain was concerned with feelings, attitudes and values. The psychomotor domain involved sensory interaction and kinetic responses resulting in motor skills. The assimilation strategy concerned the acquisition of external knowledge through the combining of facts and concepts. The synectics strategy concerned the creative use of external knowledge in problem solving. The accommodation strategy concerned the acquisition and creative use of internal knowledge in problem posing and problem solving. The model is considered to be integrated when all nine possible interfaces of the three domains and the three strategies are addressed in an art teaching situation.

A sample unit of instruction was provided in order to describe the implementation of the holistic model in terms of integration techniques. The sample unit described (1) the basic goals of instruction, (2) the sequence of activities, (3) the interrelationships provided by the activities and, (4) the motivations, primary instructions and exercises that introduced the art activities.



Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.), Art -- Study and teaching, Holism