boys’ art and fantasy violence

How best to respond to violent content like battle scenes in art made by boys?

Art educator Clyde Gaw offers an illuminating chapter on the topic, entitled “The Secret Art of Boys” in Jaquith and Hathaway’s (2012) new book The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills Through Art. He suggests that “boys are socially conditioned and biologically hardwired to weave action, drama, and danger into their imaginary realms.”

If we shut down their images of imaginary fighting we miss an opportunity for deep understanding of children’s thoughts and ideas.  Rather, we might learn to discern what is truly a red flag and encourage students to share their narratives when they create art with fantasy violence. Gaw’s blog entitled Transition to Choice Based Art Education explores this and other art education topics.

 

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