This week for my Independent Learning Project I chose to learn about the discipline of art history. This is not a typical subject that a teacher would choose to learn about and teach to students of all variations. I would expect that this topic is not one that is typically taught at the age range I would be shooting to teach to, middle school. In college is typically, I think, where this subject would be taught because it is more narrow subject rather than broad which would be taught at the middle school or high school level.
Art history is one that truly tells a story. What is unique about art history compared to history of every day life is that most history is told from events and explained of the significance of the event. Art history is told in pictures and the minor details of the picture are all analyzed. From prehistoric times of cave people drawing in caves or on rocks to modern paintings, every single piece of art is important in its own scope. Art history is a tough one to teach because it is a subjective subject. Each person has their own idea of beauty and different pieces have differing levels of beauty, based on what the person’s ideals are. It is important to try to observe as many works of art and decipher them so that you are as thorough on the subject as possible. The number of works is endless, so it will take a while to find which ones are most important.
I was once in a humanities class that taught how the different areas of art changed how society was formed. For example, during the Victorian era art was very realistic and not much variation from this tried and true method. It would take a new, daring artist who would create a work of art that defined a new era. Another area within art history that can be taught is the different artists and how the made an effect on the societies that they currently lived in. Art was and is a very influential part of history and how events unfold. An example would be how Washington was a symbol of patriotism when sailing across the Delaware River. I learned this in my United States history course this semester.
I find this topic very interesting and it is one that I could see myself teaching. The only potential downfall is that this discipline is not very demanding to be taught to middle school aged children because it is not mainstream history that is usually taught at that age.