Bases Of General Art Education Modernization Contents


The author believes that the strategy of art education modernization is closely connected with the socio-cultural and technological trends in the modern society development. The views of representatives of humanitarian and technical knowledge different spheres on the contemporary culture development features in the context of the attitude to the art and artistic and creative activity understanding are considered. The vectors on which the general art education modernization in Russia should be oriented are revealed. One of the education modernization vectors will be the rational (rational) consonance of traditional and innovative approaches, expressed in the updated content of general art education, new forms, methods, technologies, use of modern art materials and design solutions. Another vector is due to the fact that the modern world is filled with pictorial signs. A person should not only distinguish these signs, but if possible be able to create new pictorial, stylized images, in a concise form of which a concise, concentrated meaning is concluded. Therefore, the second vector is directed towards the semantics of the visual image. The third vector is determined by the total aspiration of society in the future tendency. The problem is that the reluctance to see the risks associated with progressive trends in science and technology can lead the world to collapse. To manage risks, it is necessary to have the ability to interpret, predict; the ability to see the essence of things and phenomena.

Keywords: Visual culturemodernizationgeneral art education


The problem of children and young people inclusion in art and artistic creativity in one form or another has always existed in Russia, in all sectors of society. True, it set different tasks. Until the twentieth century the noble children were taught drawing and painting with the aim of raising their general cultural level, preparing for social life, one of indispensable conditions of which was the ability to have a pleasant conversation, to evaluate a new picture of a fashionable artist, to make a sketch of a favorite object, plant, person with own hand. These skills were extremely important in the absence of other means of an image, such as photography that is going to appear. At the forefront was the ability to accurately convey the nature and carefully draw the details. Pupils did sketches of natural objects, among which particular attention was paid to leaves, herbs, flowers, trees, insects, domestic animals.

The training was based on the image of casts from antique figures and still lives with household items and fruits. The image of a person’s figure required a student basic knowledge of plastic anatomy; drawing still life or landscape - knowledge of the basic rules of perspective.

The main idea and goal of art education of the future amateur or art connoisseur was the ability to grasp the similarity and depict it in the art work. Therefore, a lot of attention was paid to the technology of working with paints: the convey of the texture of the material - velvet, satin, bronze, fur, lace.

A completely different approach to artistic activity was in the folk environment. Boys and girls mastered the crafts inherent in their locality and to a greater or lesser extent were involved in the manufacture of toys, dishes, objects of labor and everyday life.

The products that came out of their hands, notwithstanding the absence of elegance, were useful in areas of application, optimistic in mood, aesthetic in appearance, ergonomic in the form and texture of the material. Thus, art education in the past was perceived not as something ephemeral, necessary only for general development, but also as a necessary functional component of a person’s life in any social circle.

Problem Statement

After the democratization of society and the technologization of production, general art education has ceased to be an indicator of a person’s education and readiness for adulthood. If we evaluate this phenomenon from the standpoint of the current culture, then at first glance, there is nothing wrong with this: professional artists work in production and make sure that beautiful and comfortable things are produced by industry. People who work in various fields have no time to do arts in everyday life. A modern person goes to an exhibition or a museum to relax and get positive emotions.

For the evaluation of the viewed one's own opinion is enough, the main criteria of which is “to like” - “dislike”. This could serve as an excuse for superficial, sometimes not very professional, acquaintance with art at school, if not for a number of factors that we will consider in this article.

Research Questions

If we assume that life, lifestyle determines the priorities of education, then one could agree that artistic activity has lost its relevance. In fact, the surrounding world accurately and quickly reproduces technical means. Is it necessary to spend the time of the modern student to study art, artistic activity? If it is necessary, then, on which vectors should the educational content be oriented in order to be relevant and to prepare the child for life in the modern world?

In connection with the foregoing, we set a goal, analyzing the existing situation, to determine: 1) whether a modern child needs to master an artistic language; 2) what knowledge in the field of art, forms and types of artistic activity are relevant today; 3) what is the role of art education in the personnel development?

Purpose of the Study

Answers to the above questions may form the basis for determining the content of general art education modernization. Studying the opinions of specialists in various fields (cultural studies, psychologists and psychiatrists, sociologists, specialists in engineering, ergonomics, technology) will help to understand the degree of the problem relevance and determine the vectors for its solution.

Research Methods

In Russian, the root of the word "art" means test, trial, experience. Experienced means skillful, proficient as a result of long experience. Perhaps, therefore, in the Russian language, any highly professional activity, the result of which is the creation of high-quality, expressive, aesthetic things that correspond to the ideals of society, has become known as art, and an artist as a master of the work.

“Art” is defined as a special form of social consciousness and as a type of spiritual activity aimed at both creating work and its perception; as a figurative understanding of reality (Collingwood, 1999).

The emergence of art is associated with the human need for artistic knowledge of the world, to merge the emotional and intellectual vision of the world, in the desire to clothe their inner experiences in the external form, so that they become the property of other people.

The activity of making a work of art is creative, it is a process of expressing the artist’s thoughts and feelings, thanks to which an idea appears in an artistic form.

Thoughts and feelings are internal processes that are external plan balanced by images. Losev (1994) wrote:

“... in the image, there is absolutely nothing that would not be in the idea;

... The idea is given specifically, sensually, clearly, and not just intended as a general concept. The image itself speaks about the expressed idea, and not about the idea simply, and only contemplation of the image itself is sufficient; .... in order to seize the idea” (p. 262). Consequently, any idea (including scientific one), at least in the most general terms, can be expressed with using the image.

Since the Enlightenment, two ways of knowing the world - art and science - are opposed to each other. Scientific knowledge gained absolute priority in education. The art, which is able to reproduce the world around us in an image-symbolic manner, relying on creative imaging resources and using symbols as cultural codes (Kashekova, 2016), was relegated to the periphery of education. However, art has always assisted in the formation of both natural science and the religious picture of the world perception by person. In fact, before the photo appeared, it was possible to record observations of nature, plants, wildlife; transfer features of the geographical landscape, make sketches of physical experiments, astronomical observations. And in religion, the synthesis of temple arts emotionally brought a person closer to God.

What do modern scientists say about the status of art in the specifics of the modern world and the place of person in it?

View of a philosopher and a culturogist. The specificity of the modern world in the appearance of a completely different way of transmitting information compared to previous eras. Replaced the usual verbal means came visually.

Visuality has become the norm of everyday life, visual image today plays a decisive role in culture, technology, science, and even in everyday life. The problem of perception and a visual image creation has become urgent as never before.

Since the 1980s, the well-known American theorist U.J.T. Mitchell was engaged in the study of visual culture, visual literacy, the science of images and iconology. He put forward four ideas that are relevant to contemporary culture: “pictorial (or pictorial) turn”, “image distinction [image] and images [picture]”, “meta-image” and “bioimage”.

With a visual turn, Mitchell is connected not only with the emergence of “visual media”, although this in itself is a significant and unprecedented event in the history of culture, but also in history when new technologies emerged related to the reproduction of the objective world, or aesthetic perception new images. Mitchell (2017, 2008) cites such examples from the history of mankind as the disclosure of the laws of perspective, the creation of easel painting, the invention of photography - with their appearance all these inventions were perceived as tempting and at the same time frightening pictorial turns.

However, our time is characterized by a special pictorial turn: the image, the metaphor, according to Mitchell, became the main theme, both in politics and in psychology, sociology and even in the very structure of knowledge. Today, the theory of imagery and visual culture includes a lot of sciences: “psychology, neuroscience, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics, theories of media and politics” and is moving towards what the author calls “metaphysics of image”. In this case, Mitchell (2017) separates the concepts of "image" and "picture". Figuratively, and therefore especially vividly, he writes: “you can hang a picture, you can't hang an image” (p. 171). That is, a picture is a material object, and the image is something ephemeral. But, curiously, it is more tenacious than the image. After all, the picture embodying the image can be destroyed, and the image created in the picture will remain in memory, in copies from the picture, photos, narratives. The image is immaterial, but it can be seen only in the case of material embodiment. Images are not stable, dynamic, changeable and are perceived by different people differently. Are these qualities of the image not similar in nature to modern culture?

The next concept in Mitchell's image science is Meta Image. This, in the opinion of the author, is picture within which lies the picture of another image. There are many examples of meta-images in art. The author of the theory dwells on a classic example: Velazquez portrays himself in the painting Menin. The meta-image is represented as a visual form of a hyper-image.

And finally - the “Bio-image” or biological cloning process, predicted by the myths and legends of antiquity.

Mitchell rightly noticed in the cultural or visual turn a specific return of technologically highly developed cultures to mythology. Indeed, the dominance of the visual method of transmitting information over the verbal is characteristic of the world mythological perception. It seems that the cultural development of mankind, having made a giant revolution, is back to square one, of course at a qualitatively new level. It is not by chance that ancient syncretism appears today as interdisciplinary, integrative, and in the arts, it is represented by synthetic types - cinema and television (Kashekova, 2018).

View of a psychologist, psychiatrist, physiologist. Psychologists research and explain the mechanisms and various forms of art and artistic activity influence on a person; they are convinced that art has powerful psychotherapeutic potential, including in the creative personality development, the creative qualities development (Vygotsky, 2018; Korsybski, 1933; Kulka, 2014; Pezeshkian, 1992), which is today recognized, almost the main task of education.

The first is the statement that a person must learn the art of "seeing." To see nature, another person means “to know what to focus on, what to pay attention to. ... Nothing is harder than seeing correctly and comprehending a certain reality such as it really is... Artistic observation differs from the scientific one. Art teaches to see the world” (Kulka, 2014, p.79). Czech psychologist Kulka (2014) explains this position: “in order for an object to become an artistic artifact, it must be taken out of a chain of facts, from a number of familiar associations. ... The artwork allows you to clothe the impression in an aesthetically ordered form. In this case, a work of art can be considered as a thing, image, sign, model” (p. 119).

German psychotherapist Pezeshkian (1992), who used the language of images in the methods of his practice, described the effect produced by myths, parables, fables, legends to change the patients’ point of view. The same effect can be obtained by using images of any art, so we determined functions for all its types: 1) the function of the mirror (a person identifies him/herself with the content of the work, with the characters and sees him/herself as in a mirror); 2) the function of the sample (the art suggests specific solutions or provides guidance on the consequences of decisions); 3) mediation function (mitigates the confrontation between the viewer and the author of the work point of view); 4) the function of preserving experience (the imagery and emotional resonance of the viewer contribute to the memorization of information and its easy updating if necessary); 5) the function of transcultural interaction (the art of other cultures enriches the experience of the perceiver); 6) regression function (helps the perceiver to return to earlier ones, fun-oriented behaviors and attitudes); 7) the function of counterconception (art does not put pressure on perceiver, and, acting indirectly, gives him/her the freedom of conscious choice of own position, but on the basis of disclosing the possible results of this choice).

Melik-Pashaev believes that “it is possible and necessary to contribute to the artistic development of all children” (Melik-Pashaev, Novlyanskaya, Adaskina, Kudina, Chubuk, 2005, p.83). In the logic of education, he is surprised by the fact that everyone recognizes the need for a child to acquire the ability to think logically, despite the fact that in adulthood few will become a professional philosopher, logician, theoretical scientist, but the ability to think in images that are no less significant for modern person, for some reason, is understood as the exclusive right of the artist. A psychologist considers the work of art perception not as a passive “reflection” in intellectual and emotional terms of finished contents, but a co-creative re-creation of ... an artistic image and an independent, individual assessment of the author's intention” (Melik-Pashayev et al., 2005, pp. 86-87).

From an educational point of view, artistic development forms the skill of self-perception (understanding, evaluating), interpreting the world around us and striving for independent, creative attitude to any kind of activities.

The lack of experience in interpreting a work of art, as well as the creation and realization of one's own creative ideas, contradicts the conditions for the creative qualities development in a child.

According to many scholars, a creative search is the prevention of both emotional and general human health (Bekhterev, 1911; Korsybski, 1933). Korsybski (1933) argued that the human psyche must be active, a person must constantly work on discovering the new, i.e. engage in creativity, because this has a good effect on the health of the psyche, on which the overall health of the body depends.

The opinion of the sociologist. It is known that the emergence of art preceded the emergence of writing and structured speech. Historians believe that it was art that caused the emergence of society and its hierarchization. With each change in public priorities, art also changed: the twentieth century began with major changes in politics, in industry, in outlook, it was then that an intense struggle began for a new understanding of art. The second half of the twentieth century went even further in the desire to move away from art and replace it with so-called art practices. Now, in the twenty-first century, new changes are occurring in all these areas, and a new "understanding of art as a shock, as a slap in the face taste, as conceptual” (Kulka, 2014, p.436). Nevertheless, art was and remains in spite of everything a communication form.

From the point of view of a sociologist, social change is always the basis of any change (Ionin, 2004). The formation and deployment of cultural forms goes through the following stages: the formation of social interest; awareness of social interest; doctrinal registration of social interest (group folklore, writers and philosophers' works). In this regard, it is important that the process of the cultural forms formation and deployment changes if the majority of society members have lost their identification, and hence, a meaningful understanding of their own interest.

It is known that the identification of a person with his people, country provides knowledge of the traditions, the guardian of which is art. Today, in the age of erasing borders, the domination of diverse and contradictory information and advertising, it is difficult for a person not to lose him/herself. And here art, general art education will help to gain a holistic image of the world in which there is an opportunity to clearly fix your own place.

The process of identifying a person in a new cultural form, according to Ionin (2004), is opposite to the cultural form emergence process, which is described above. This process begins with a substantive and behavioral presentation, in which external attributes play a decisive role (clothes, accessories, speech, behavior, etc.), i.e. a peculiar decoration, and the result is the formation of social interest.

Therefore, cultural development often first has an external, playful character. This means that the rules of the game, adopted in the new group, although supported by person, but initially he/she does not identify them with the norms of life. While acquaintance with a new one has the character of mastering external signs, and a person does not yet identify him/herself with it, it is important whether this game will be interesting for an individual and how much he/she will be aware of the obligation or chance for him/herself. But as soon as a new speculative image of the world is assimilated, and new moral norms become decisive for a person, one can speak of the emergence of social interest in a new way of life. This was once in Russia during the preparation of the revolution and later after its accomplishment, as it was in Germany during the formation of fascism, this is what happens today when young people enter the network of terrorist organizations. Representatives of young people often become hostages of such situations, because of the life experience lack, clear identification in search of their own interest, they are easily captured by the interests of others, being carried on to the bright manifestations of external signs. The development of art, which teaches to look critically at many manifestations and evaluate their essence, can serve as an immunity for such phenomena.

Sociologists who study the problems of art social functioning, the relationship of art with the social life, with economics and politics, argue that “between social processes and artistic activity there are an infinite number of interconnections that determine life in society and the ideas that originate from artists, and the works of art content that influence the masses, and the problems of social and artistic education” (Yafalyan, 2011, p.157).

Sociologists confirm that in psychological interpretation of social and artistic education is realized through the image (Yafalyan, 2011). The opposition of a real, objective social image and a fictional, subjective artistic image creates the necessary space for art and creative activity in which the real and the fantastic, the objective and the subjective, the individual and the typical are combined.

View specialists in the field of engineering, ergonomics, technology. At present, in the informatization and globalization of society conditions, the emergence of new bio, socio, and nano-technologies, students live simultaneously in two realities — in a tangible subject world and in virtual space. In connection with this, the attitude of young people towards the world around them, towards themselves and other people has changed significantly - this imposes a special responsibility and new requirements on the general education system.

One of the most sought-after art professions to date is design. And the art that is included today in the STEAM-education complex is designed to decorate the space surrounding a person, give comfortable, ergonomic qualities and aesthetic appearance to machines, devices, objects of work and life. In modern industrial production, including product design, ergonomics plays an important role, the tasks of which include knowledge of the workplace proper organization, the design of comfortable and practical furniture, and the design of objects in terms of their convenience for humans. Ergonomics takes into account the physiology and psychology of a person and answers the question: the right thing or not.

The ability to create a harmonious and comfortable space for yourself, fashionable, but not defiantly dressed and combed, competently choose accessories - these are indicators of a sense of proportion and harmony, artistic taste and aesthetic attitude to the world.

These qualities are important for each person, both in everyday life and in professional realization.

The upbringing of person spiritual and moral qualities, the development of ecological and aesthetic culture will allow future scientists, engineers, technologists, businessmen to grow up for whom people, nature, life, art will become unconditional priority values, even if their own ambitions, recognition, are at stake material well-being.


A review of the various specialists judgments showed the specificity and priorities of modern culture, on the basis of which we can determine the relevance of general art education and the vectors to be guided by, determining the content of its modernization.

The fundamental problem of content modernization.

Art education can be considered a question of art and civilization interaction, as well as this interaction impact on the younger generation. Art, being a part of the culture, is deeply tied to traditions and to the idea of their preservation; civilization, rushing into the future, is looking for new forms of human expression.

Therefore, always, at all times, in any society there was a confrontation between traditions and innovations; it exists in the present. One of the vectors of the education modernization will be the rational consonance of traditional and innovative approaches, expressed in the updated general art education content, new forms, methods, technologies, the use of modern art materials and design solutions.

Another vector is directed towards the semantics of the visual image. Its significance can be derived from the proposition put forward by Mitchell: on the return of technologically advanced cultures to mythology. It is known that mythological thinking was primarily visual and figurative. Ancient people who did not have a written language used signs to convey and save information. In the modern world primitive pictogram received a new life: now it has appeared in the image of computer program icons, road signs, company logos, identifying signs in supermarkets, signs on geographic maps, etc. Modern person must not only distinguish these signs but if possible be able to create new ones.

Any sign is a pictorial, stylized image of a thing or action, in the laconic form of which is a capacious, concentrated meaning. To create a mark, it is important to be able to see the common parts before. It is art, an artistic activity that teach to see the world and the phenomena occurring in it holistically, to identify the main features, to express their attitude in various forms: flat and three-dimensional, realistic and stylized, generalized and detailed. And here the semantics of traditional art takes on new meaning and new life.

A society aspiring to the future does not always clearly represent the risks associated with progressive trends in science and technology. To manage risks, it is necessary to have the ability to interpret, predict; the ability to see the essence of things and phenomena, using for this purpose sign systems and symbolic codes that provide "dense packing" of information. Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish in the total informational and computer domination the value of the individual manifestations of a person: ideas, emotions, inclinations, motives. However, without this it is impossible to talk about the education of the individual value qualities, which are included in the arsenal of universal human values — social and individual, and the value orientations of a person depend on them. Thus, the third vector of art education modernization content is focused on the child’s value development of the world, on the ability to see with the heart as well as with the eyes.


Actual problems of the successful person development in modern socio-cultural conditions and the vectors of general art education modernization, due to its importance in solving these problems, are presented in the Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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The results presented in the article are obtained in the framework of government assignment of Russian Ministry of education No. 27.7394.2017/8.9


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Kashekova*, I. E. (2019). Bases Of General Art Education Modernization Contents. In S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 69. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 398-407). Future Academy.