ART 390 

lecture supplement

NEW WASHINGTON state ART standards:


OLD Washington state ART standards (still viable):



ART VOCABULARY often revolves around the Elements and Principles of Design. View this slideshow for more information:



To combat "drive-by" judgements, FORMAL discussions about art often entail the following format:

a.  DESCRIBE:  What do you see? (the elements of art)

b.  ANALYZE:  How is the work organized (support answers with principles of art)?

c.  INTERPRET:  What is being communicated?

d.  JUDGE:  Based on above, is this a successful work of art?


EXAMPLE. Image: Georgia O'Keeffe's "Grey Line with Black, Blue, and Yellow," 1923. 




TALKING with children about THEIR art (see file).

INFORMAL "group talks" casually utilize description and interpretation via VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES: 


1.  What is VTS? 

     A.  Look.

     B.  What is going on in this picture? (point)

     C.  What makes you say that?

     D.  What more can you find?


2.  What does VTS look like in action?


3.  What are the outcomes of VTS?

4.  Who uses VTS?



Assessing creativity?

Creativity defined:  Process of having original ideas that have value.


Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) assesses creativity using the following criteria:

1.  Fluency - how many ideas 

2.  Flexibility - how many areas the answer covers (smile face, sad face, mad face = one area)

3.  Originality - how common are the ideas

4.  Elaboration - level of detail in responses 


Torrance Test Examples.


Are YOU creative? 


Why does creativity matter?


Kyung-Hee Kim, an assistant professor at William and Mary, analyzed 300,000 TTCT results and has determined that creativity has been on the decline in the US since 1990. The age group that is showing the worst decline is the kindergarten to sixth grade. The factors behind this decline aren’t known, but may be due to a mix of:

  • uncreative play (escalating hours spent in front of the TV or video game console for example),

  • changing parenting and family dynamics (research suggests a stable home environment that also values uniqueness is important), and,

  • an educational system that focuses too much on rote memorization, standardized curriculum and national standardize testing.

Overall, Kim states,  “We are becoming less verbally or emotionally expressive or sensitive and less empathetic, less responsive in a kinesthetic and auditory way, less humorous, less imaginative, less able to visualize ideas, less able to see things from different angles, less unconventional, less able to connect seemingly irrelevant things together, less able to synthesize information, and less able to fantasize or be future-oriented.”


Can creativity be taught?


We educate children based on an "Industrial" mentality rather than a "conceptual" economy.

Art Integration.

DEFINITION per Kennedy Center for the Arts:































  1. Art integration should be linked to a standard.  Ideally, it will meet an Art and general content standards.  

  2. Art integration product should "show" a concept and/or an understanding of a concept linked to learning.

  3. Art integration should involve student choice in/of the art product/project.  Art integration is not merely coloring forms or cutting out patterns/templates.  The end product is often unknown by the teacher (entirely or somewhat).  

  4. Assessment is often linked to  three categories:  content (how well the project reflects the mastery of the standard); process (use of higher-order thinking skills, planning, organization, and effort); product (how clearly is the concept portrayed?) 

  5. Art integration projects should be shared.


Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) vs. STEAM (+ART as a way not to so much teach art, but to apply art in real situations.)




Learning to "see" = learning to draw.  


Basic brain structure:  

Right brain – left brain

The right and left hemispheres of the brain are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that delivers messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a brain tumor is located on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed. 


Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.


Lobes of the brain

The cerebral hemispheres have distinct fissures, which divide the brain into lobes. Each hemisphere has 4 lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. Each lobe may be divided, once again, into areas that serve very specific functions. It’s important to understand that each lobe of the brain does not function alone. There are very complex relationships between the lobes of the brain and between the right and left hemispheres. 



Frontal lobe

  • Personality, behavior, emotions

  • Judgment, planning, problem solving 

  • Speech: speaking and writing (Broca’s area) 

  • Body movement (motor strip) 

  • Intelligence, concentration, self awareness 

Parietal lobe

  • Interprets language, words 

  • Sense of touch, pain, temperature (sensory strip) 

  • Interprets signals from vision, hearing, motor, sensory and memory

  • Spatial and visual perception 

Occipital lobe

  • Interprets vision (color, light, movement)

Temporal lobe

  • Understanding language (Wernicke’s area) 

  • Memory

  • Hearing 

  • Sequencing and organization

The Cerebellum

  • Fine tunes and coordinates muscle movements (drawing!)

  • Fine tunes and coordinates thoughts (cognition and creativity)

  • The Stanford researchers hypothesize that the cerebellum "may be able to model all new types of behavior as the more frontally located cortical regions make initial attempts to acquire those behaviors. The cerebellum then takes over and, in an iterative and subconscious manner, perfects the behavior, relieving the cortical areas of that burden and freeing them up for new challenges." 

  • 10% of brain volume, but houses 50% of brain's total neurons.


Messages within the brain are carried along pathways.

Messages can travel from one gyrus to another, from one lobe to another, from one side of the brain to the other, and to structures found deep in the brain (e.g. thalamus, hypothalamus).  

***** For example, when a person is asked to "imagine" something, this act zings 11 brain areas in all brain hemispheres.***


FUNCTIONAL MRI SCANS:  When a person starts thinking, neurons in a brain use more oxygen and demand more blood. Functional MRI can detect the difference in signal caused by the increase in blood flow to specific areas of the brain. The MRI scanner measures this signal difference and displays the activity as a colored area.








Image of brain map:


How to "grow" a brain:



Observational drawing increases gray and white matter in the cerebellum and in the supplementary motor area: 


Drawing to Learn in Science


Key Takeaways

  • New experiences help children build neural pathways. Exploring the world helps the brain grow pathways (especially when multi-sensory experiences are employed).

  • Different teaching methods and other intervention strategies help kids develop new pathways and build more skills.  Kids with learning and attention issues can benefit from retraining a learned pathway - takes time, but it can happen.

  • At every stage of development, there are things you can do to help a child learn.



Children and Art Studio Tasks/milestones:  

Developmental Stages of Child Art