Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Teaching contemporary art in Primary schools
Issue Date: 
Twardzik Ching, C. L. (2015). Teaching contemporary art in Primary schools. Athens Journal of Humanities & Arts, 2(2), 95-109. Retrieved from
This paper proposes that educating students in Contemporary Art is essential in the 21st century classroom. In this global climate, being able to understand and translate visual data is vital to one’s ability to navigate through a complex world. The ability to understand visual ‘language’ is a teachable skill that can empower the classroom teacher to likewise enable their students in creative and critical thinking. One of the most challenging tasks an art teacher faces in today’s classroom is to explain the meaning behind art that is sometimes deemed as too vulgar, meaningless or shocking. Understanding the historical context of the work, appreciating the reasons for its creation, articulating their significance and participating in the art making process, help students gain confidence in their own ability. Contemporary art in the classroom, because it encourages these skills, becomes an aid to encourage higher-order thinking, problem solving and deep reflection. Art educators who are empowered with a broad knowledge of contemporary art and culture, who have an understanding of the link connecting art of the past and contemporary art, and a renewed appreciation of the importance of art education, are better able to bring art education in primary schools beyond step-by-step activities. This paper will explore the benefits of teaching contemporary art to children in primary schools and will debunk the myth that contemporary art is beyond the cognitive abilities of these children. The challenging nature of many contemporary artworks and ideas can be used to stimulate the curiosity that is natural in children and imparts an understanding of art as a whole.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Athens Journal of Humanities & Arts. The published version is available online at
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
AJHA-2-2-95.pdf453.27 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Page view(s) 50

checked on Nov 17, 2018

Download(s) 20

checked on Nov 17, 2018