Young Children's Philosophy of Art as a Reflection of Culture and Society:A Three Point Perspective

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Office of Research and Development


This presentation focuses on philosophy of art as a reflection of lived experience of young children who early in life shape their conceptions of art in response to the cultural climate and heritage of societies in which they grow up. Discussion of children’s philosophy of art is here powered by results of a crosscultural, collaborative study, that involved interviews with four and five-year-old children in Canada, France, and Taiwan, probing their understanding of the concept of art and selected criteria that determine membership of objects in the art category. Results of the study are presented in the context of cultural heritage and tradition of the three societies and further support the need to carefully consider cultural perspectives in discussing, assessing, and evaluating art. The evidence of children as young as four years of age having developed, through enculteration and social mediation of common values and understandings, their conceptions of art, underscores the importance of quality art education in early childhood years as a means of assisting children in further development of their phliosophy of art.