Work and Play:The Collections of an Art Teacher and Her Middle School Students and Their Implications for Art Practice and Visual Learning

By Jeanne Nemeth.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Collecting is a multifaceted activity and a complex social phenomenon that has been studied extensively, however not in relation to art teachers, artists, and middle school age students. This paper discusses the results of a case study that investigated the collecting practices of a middle school art teacher and her students. With an interest in the process of collecting and the life of a collection as well as what is collected, I interviewed teachers and students in order to find out why they collect objects, how they collect, and what they do with their collections. Together the content and process reveals how the activity of collecting serves many different purposes. For some artists and educators collecting objects is a form of visual research. This area of study has potential to offer new curriculum ideas for learning about art practice, the mass arts, and material culture in a postmodern context.

Keywords: Material Culture, Visual Research, Mass Arts, Collecting Practice

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp.77-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 546.543KB).

Jeanne Nemeth

Assistant Professor, Visual Arts, Art Education, University of Wisconsin MIlwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Jeanne Nemeth is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She received a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University and a MFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include material culture studies, contemporary art practices, and environmental psychology. She has written about the relationship between contemporary collecting and artistic practice within a consumer society, with a focus on the collecting practices of artists, art educators, and students. Current investigations seek to expand and gather information about urban students and their relationship with the physical environments of both school and home and explore how this relationship affects behavior, identity, and creative production.


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