Art History A Level (6)

More discussions about how to ensure that art history does not die as an A Level subject in 2018.   It has become clear that the issue is much broader than simply retaining art history as an A level subject, currently mainly in private schools:  that is, how to ensure that there is at least some teaching and awareness of art history in state schools more generally, not just at A Level, in order to ensure visual literacy.   At the moment, anecdotal evidence suggests that pupils are introduced to ideas about art history in Primary Schools.   Then, there is a requirement that pupils should learn about art history as a part of Key Stage 3.   But does this actually happen ?  The big loss is the reduction in the amount of art history which is taught as a part of art and design education since artists are no longer expected or necessarily encouraged to know about the past. 

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3 thoughts on “Art History A Level (6)

  1. You identify the problem and the challenges. What we need are some of the ways forward. How much is being done on these issues by the RA Schools ? Is this yet another area on which theAcademy could provide some leadership – starting with a Rothschild Lecture and being carried forward in the Chipperfield Lecture Theatre in the new building.

  2. Joan says:

    Been racking my brain as to my children’s experiences of art history at school. All three of them (educated at state non selective schools in East London) certainly did something about Holbein and the representation of Henry VIII at primary school. As for secondary school I can’t recall seeing work done by them about art history. But schools are expected to cover so much – everything from the government’s Prevent strategy (anti-radicalisation awareness) to healthy eating. I have never got too involved in my children’s schooling as I fear that even in subjects that I know something about I would tell them the wrong thing or the wrong method. I think much more of my job as developing their hinterland. In the field of art history there is probably no better aid to parents of children around Key Stage 3 age than Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s book Framed which weaves a great story around some of the pictures in the National Gallery and their temporary relocation to a bleak Welsh quarry. Of course it helps living in London where you can then take your kids to see the actual pictures.

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