Investigating Art Criticism in Education: An Autobiographical Narrative

Authored by: Terry Barrett

Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education

Print publication date:  February  2004
Online publication date:  April  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805849714
eBook ISBN: 9781410609939
Adobe ISBN: 9781135612313


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When invited to write this chapter, I decided to construct a personal narrative of my life in art education to pass on lessons learned during 30-some years. In the telling I hope that I am neither inflating nor minimizing the work in which I have been engaged as an art educator interested in art criticism. When I began teaching, I viewed myself as an artist who had to teach, but I now view myself as an art educator and writer who wants to teach and write. Since 1990, most of my writing has been books. The editors’ request of me to write a chapter for this anthology provides me occasion to take a reflective pause in the midst of two larger writing projects. The first is a book titled Interpreting Art: Reflecting, Wondering, and Responding (Barrett, 2003). It encourages college students to actively interpret the art that they see and study rather than passively receive interpretations from their professors and other scholars. The second project is a book for college art majors titled Art: Form & Meaning. I especially look forward to this project because the publisher is providing 300 reproductions, 200 in color—many more images than I have been able to use in other books—and my wife Susan, an art museum educator (Hazelroth & Moore, 1998; Hazelroth-Barrett & Moore, 2003) and Montessori teacher, is working on the book with me.

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