Category Archives: PSV702 Contemporary Model in Visual Art

Using Biggs’ Model of Constructive Alignment in Curriculum Design

The main theoretical underpinning of the outcomes-based curriculum is provided by Biggs (2003). He calls the model constructive alignment which he defines as:

…coherence between assessment, gt strategeachinies and intended learning outcomes in an educational programme. (McMahon & Thakore 2006)


As currently articulated, the model is attributed to Biggs (2003, 1999) but the essentials were formulated by Tyler (1949) some 50 years earlier – and elaborated in the 1980s by Shuell (1986). At its most basic, the model requires alignment between the three key areas of the curriculum, namely, the intended learning outcomes, what the student does in order to learn, how the student is assessed. This is expressed in Figure 1 with a concrete example given as Figure 2.

Figure 1: A Basic Model of an Aligned Curriculum.

"Figure 1: A Basic Model of an Aligned Curriculum."

Figure 2: An Example of Constructive Alignment in a Curriculum

Examples of Alignment from Different Modules

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this module students should be able:
Assessment Methods Teaching/Learning Activities
To identify the main signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Multiple Choice Questions Lecture on various signs/symptoms,In class exercises/quizzes on terminology.
To formulate end products using selected ingredients Poster Display 15%Presentation of end product 85% Lecture presenting case studies of the design history of some market leaders.Students plan own project and present as poster.

Student projects on food formulation.

To develop and identify an area for research in the discipline 1,000 word research proposal Presentation of examples of research questions,Student discussion groups on research areas.
To demonstrate effective presentational skills In-class graded presentation Practices sessions in the class,Peer-assessment, using set criteria, of others in class.
Title of Module: Evaluating and Reflecting on your Teaching.
On completion of this module you should be able to:
Critically reflective written report containing the following:
Teaching / Learning Activities
Monitor, evaluate and reflect on your teaching and the learning of your students Evidence of having completed the prescribed mentoring – observation cycleA reflective statement of personal and professional gains made from the peer observation process Introductory Group Tutorial – Revision of critical reflection theory (from previous modules).Seminar: Introduction to Peer Observation and the use of a Learning Contract.

Peer mentor sessions.

Use a range of methods to gather student feedback. Evidence of having received and responded to student feedbackA reflective statement of what has been achieved as a result of gathering feedback from students. Workshop:Methods of Gathering Student Feedback

Project: Collecting Student Feedback (using a variety of methods)

Contribute to the debate on the links between research and teaching. Formatively assessed by tutor comments in forum. (In preparation for formal assessment of this outcome in a future module.) On line forum

Biggs actually suggests that teaching and learning activities are designed second and the assessment regime third (page 30). If this sequence is adopted, it is important that activities are designed which enable students to learn how to demonstrate achievement at the highest level described by the outcomes. This can be done by focusing on the verbs within the outcomes that express “the very best understanding that could reasonably be expected” (page 28). (See Figure 3)

Appropriate verbs can be discovered or derived by relating the model to a learning taxonomy. The two most commonly used are that devised by Bloom (1956) as revised by Anderson et al (2001) and that devised by Biggs & Collis (1982). (See Figure 4)

Figure 3: Adapting the Model to Allow for Differential Levels of Achievement.

"Figure 3: Adapting the Model to Allow for Differential Levels of Achievement."

Figure 4: Relating the Constructive Alignment Model to Learning Taxonomies.

Bloom’s Taxonomy
(As revised by Anderson et al 2001)
Biggs’ Proposed Levels of Attainment Biggs & Collis’ SOLO Taxonomy
Synthesis / Creation
design, organise, formulate, propose.Evaluation
judge, appraise, evaluate, compare, assess.
A: The very best understanding Extended Abstract Thinking:
distinguish, analyse, calculate, test, inspect.Application
apply, use, demonstrate, illustrate, practice.
B: Highly Satisfactory Relational Thinking:
explain, describe, discuss, recognise.
C: Quite Satisfactory Multi-structural Thinking
comment upon
define, list, name, recall, record
D: Just a Pass Uni-structural
E: Fail Pre-structural

A better fit with what Biggs says elsewhere in his book, however, is that the assessment regime needs to be thought out before the teaching and learning activities. This is because for students, assessment defines what is important in the curriculum and they will learn what they think will be assessed.

As Biggs put it:

… students learn what they think they will be tested on. This is backwash, when the assessment determines what and how students learn more than the curriculum does. In a poorly aligned system, where the test does not reflect the objectives, this will result in inappropriate surface learning. (Biggs 2003: 140)

Biggs notes that if the assessment regime does not properly reflect curriculum objectives then the result will be inappropriate “surface” learning. He then goes on to propose that educators use the inevitability backwash to secure effective educational reform.

You can’t beat backwash, so join it. Students will always second-guess the assessment task and then learn what they think will meet those requirements. But if those assessment requirements mirror the curriculum, there is no problem. Students will be learning what they are supposed to be learning. Ibid: 210.

This concept of backwash is a key element of, and justification for, the adoption of Bigg’s Model of Constructive Alignment because it is validated by a great deal of independent research (Atkins et al 1993, Ramsden 1992, Scouller 2000).

This does not, however, in anyway diminish the importance of the other two components of the curriculum. Any review or revision of any one of the three components of an aligned curriculum requires a matching review or revision of the other two. Where a curriculum is not aligned – i.e. where there is a discontinuity between any two of the components – it is likely that there will be a mismatch between intention and product.

At a more complex level, constructive alignment requires a balance and synergy between:

  • the professional goals of the teachers
  • the wants and needs of the students
  • the curriculum
  • the teaching methods used
  • the assessment procedures used and the method or report results
  • the psychological and social climate of the classroom (learning milieu)
  • the psychological and social climate of the institution.

Each of these components needs to work towards the common goals.

Imbalance in the system will lead to poor teaching and surface learning. Non alignment is signified by inconsistencies, unmet expectations, and practices that contradict what we preach (Biggs 2003: 26)

Figure 5: Examples of Alignment from Different Modules

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this module students should be able:
Assessment Methods Teaching/Learning Activities
To identify the main signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Multiple Choice Questions Lecture on various signs/symptoms,In class exercises/quizzes on terminology.
To formulate end products using selected ingredients Poster Display 15%Presentation of end product 85% Lecture presenting case studies of the design history of some market leaders.Students plan own project and present as poster.

Student projects on food formulation.

To develop and identify an area for research in the discipline 1,000 word research proposal Presentation of examples of research questions,Student discussion groups on research areas.
To demonstrate effective presentational skills In-class graded presentation Practices sessions in the class,Peer-assessment, using set criteria, of others in class.

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK)

dok_blooms_comparison_Page_1.jpgThe Common Core Standards are the cornerstones of the Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (scale of cognitive demand) and Blooms Revised Taxonomy (levels of intellectual ability) are the framework and the structures that will be used to evaluate students. Assessing curriculum, developing formative assessments, evaluation curriculum, and evaluation of students knowledge at the highest levels is being shared by two progressive cognitive matrices. Depth of knowledge, and complexity of knowledge is the heart of the more rigorous assessments being implemented in 2014. They share many ideas and concepts yet are different in level of cognitive demand, level of difficulty, complexity of verbs vs. depth of thinking required, and the scale of cognitive demand. Teachers need to learn how the frameworks are used to develop curriculum and how to use them to enhance instructions. Teachers and students can use Blooms Questions Stems and Webb’s DOK questions stems to create higher order thinking and improve achievement. 80% of the PARCC assessments will be based on the highest levels of blooms and the deepest levels of Webb’s DOK. Are you ready to use the DOK or Blooms daily in your class?

The links below are a great resources of Blooms Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge.

Sources from From

Designing SMART Research Objectives

What are the most common weakness formulating research question?

  1. Is it linked to the theory
  2. Provide fresh insight
  3. Is the topic clearly stated
  4. Is doable in the available time
  5. Is realistic in terms of knowledge and skills
  6. Do you have an access to data

Objectives must always be set after having formulated a good research question. After all, they are to explain the way in which such question is going to be answered. Objectives are usually headed by infinitive verbs. (Refer Bloom Taxanomy/Revised Bloom Taxanomy)

It can be difficult to develop realistic research objectives. There are common pitfalls such as the scope being too broad, not including enough detail, being too simplistic, being too ambitious, etc.  Use these S.M.A.R.T. guidelines to try and develop your objectives:

  1. Specific – avoid general statements, include detail about what you are going to do.
  2. Measureable – there should be a definable outcome.
  3. Achievable – be realistic in what you hope to cover, don’t attempt too much. A less ambitious but completed objective is better than an over-ambitious one that you cannot Rpossible achieve.
  4. Realistic – think about logistics. Are you practically able to do what you wish to do? Factors to consider include: time; expense; skills; access to sensitive information; participant’s consent; etc.
  5. Time constrained – be aware of the time-frame of the project.


Title: An investigation into the student use of e-books at Bolton University.

Aims: Many academic libraries have expanded their library provision by the acquisition of e-books. Despite this strategic direction, the literature reveals that relatively little is known about student perceptions and attitudes towards e-books. Consequently, this research aims to narrow this research gap and conduct empirical research into student perceptions towards e-books and their frequency of use. The results will be used to provide recommendations to library management to improve the quality of service provision regarding e-books.

Research Objectives: The above aim will be accomplished by fulfilling the following research objectives:

  1. Review the literature concerning the student uptake and experience of e-books in academic libraries.
  2. Investigate perceptions and attitudes towards e-books and the usage of e-books at the University of Bolton.
  3. Compare usage statistics between various user-groups, e.g. full-time, part-time, course type, etc.
  4. Identify if any improvements or alterations are required to facilitate a high service quality provision in relation to the e-books service at Bolton University library.


  1. Designing Research Aims and Objectives
  2. How to Write SMART Research Objectives

Learning Theories in Art Education

Learning Outcomes

Upon the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Understand the Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Understand the Gestalt Theory
  • Understand the Behaviourist Theory
  • Understand the Cognitive Theory


“Creativity is the step child of psychology” (May, 1975). This statement characterizes the historically difficult relationship existent between gifted individuals and society and, between science and creativity research. Just so, the creative process can be observed and described but its source remains obscure. Psychology’s numerous philosophical orientations have each attempted a meaningful relationship with this “step child” with varying degrees of success. This chapter will discuss the psychoanalytic, Gestalt, developmental growth, behaviourist and cognitive theory in relation to arts. Each of these branches holds a sharply different view on the nature of man which reflects in each psychology’s explanation of creativity, its source and purpose.


Sigmund Freud born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939), was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. Freud’s family and ancestry were Jewish. Freud always considered himself a Jew even though he rejected Judaism and had a critical view of religion. Freud’s parents were poor, but ensured his education. Freud was an outstanding pupil in high school, and graduated the Matura with honors in 1873. Interested in philosophy as a student, Freud later turned away from it and became a neurological researcher into cerebral palsy, Aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy.

Sigmund Freud, founder of Psychoanalysis, had theory commonly referred to as the iceberg theory in which he proposed to split the human into three levels of consciousness. He said that every human had an unconscious, a preconscious, and a conscious level to their minds. According to his theory the unconscious mind was the largest part, but also was the hidden or repressed part.

Sigmund Freud

Id, Ego and Superego

As is well-known, Freud divided the human psyche into three interactive components. Wholly unconscious and the seat of powerful, instinctive drives, many of them sexual, was the id. The largely conscious component attempting to reconcile the id to the world outside was the ego. The third, relatively independent component, was the superego, which internalized parental and social demands and acted as censor over the ego’s activities. Disharmony between the three components led to mental disorders, which could be investigated in dreams, free association sessions and art.

According to Freud, we are born with our Id. The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries. When the child needs to be changed, the id cries. When the child is uncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or her needs are met.

The id does not care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents’ wishes. They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing. When the id wants something, nothing else is important.

Within the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop. Freud called this part the Ego. The ego is based on the reality principle. The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. It is the ego’s job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.

By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops. The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation. Not an easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the person’s life. If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world. You’ll learn how the ego maintains control as you continue to read.

Freud’s Iceberg Theory

According to Freud, there are three levels of consciousness:

  • Conscious (small): this is the part of the mind that holds what you are aware of. You can verbalize about your conscious experience and you can think about it in a logical fashion.
  • Preconscious (small-medium): this is ordinary memory. So although things stored here are not in the conscious, they can be readily brought into conscious.
  • Unconscious (enormous): Freud felt that this part of the mind was not directly accessible to awareness. In part, he saw it as a dump box for urges, feelings and ideas that are tied to anxiety, conflict and pain. These feelings and thoughts have not disappeared and according to Freud, they are there, exerting influence on our actions and our conscious awareness. This is where most of the work of the Id, Ego, and Superego take place.
Freud’s Conception of the Human Psyche

 Freud Creative Process

What is creativity? What goes on during this process? Psychoanalysis gives us certain explanations on how this process is possible, and also on its benefits for both its author and public.

The creative process is, according to Freud, an alternative to neurosis, that is a defense mechanism protecting against neurosis, leading thus to the production of a socially acceptable source of entertainment and pleasure for the public. For the artist has the ability of turning his fantasies into artistic creations instead of into symptoms.

The unconscious plays a major role in the act of creation. That is, the act of creation is made possible by the libido, the energy of the id, and by a defense mechanism considered to be the most beneficial – sublimation. By turning the sexual desire into a cultural manifestation with the help of the ego, sublimation makes the thoughts of the unconscious more acceptable to the conscious and it also allows for something productive, and pleasant, for the others as well.

Art makes use of defense mechanisms such as condensation and displacement – terms also used for work on the dream process, due to the role of the unconscious in both creative and dream processes.

Art itself can be regarded as a defense mechanism. The artistic creation may be, for the artist, wish fulfillment or fantasy gratification of desires denied by the reality principle or prohibited by moral codes. Art is thus a means of giving expression to, and dealing with, various psychic pressures. The artist can work his fantasy – a substitute for satisfaction – by means of sublimation, into a socially acceptable form, art, that the others can enjoy. He works out the personal in his daydreams, fantasies into something he can share with the public.

Art is seen as a path linking fantasy and reality, the artist being able to regain contact with reality. Freud compares the artists’ fantasies with children’s fantasies: play involves control – keeping in touch with reality – as much as fantasy. Similarly to a child’s play, the artist’s fantasy moulds the external world to his desire, creating a world of fantasy where he can fulfill his unconscious wishes.

Some believe that creativity is intertwined with repression and pain. Freud did claim that the artists use their work to project in the outside world unfulfilled fantasies. However, in his view, a good poem is sublimation, and not a repression. Moreover, there is this ability of the artist to create and not become ill with neurosis.

The Application of Psychoanalytic Theory in the Arts Teaching and Learning

As an art teacher, an understanding of the theory of psychoanalysis will help teachers deal with students feeling and problem. The teachers must understand the three basic techniques for treating his students, namely:

  1. Identifying the problem. Students who are experiencing emotional stress will report every single thing that comes to their The teachers will interpret it in a form of conversation. The teacher is encouraged to recognize the barriers and to diagnose problems and provide individualized interventions and services to help the student.
  2. Transferring the emotion. The students are encouraged to direct their emotions to the teachers. Then, the teacher will need to look to the behavior of his students.
  3. Interpretation of dreams. Interpretations made spontaneously. The students’ unconscious condition will be interpreted like a dream. The teachers will interpret the dreams and try to understand the problem in depth.

The art teachers are required to access and address student needs. As a natural mode of communication for children, it is a means of externalizing the complexities of emotional pain. One of the solutions is to perform art therapy. Children rarely resist the art-making process because it offers ways to express themselves that are less threatening than strictly verbal means.

In the art therapy process, children are encouraged to visually represent their thoughts and feelings, such as conflicts, wishes, and memories. Utilizing their artwork and verbalizations, they are helped to understand how they function as individuals and as part of a family and group system. Art therapy treatment in schools is art expression that lends itself to exploration, and as a result, to the adjustment of individuals to life.


The Gestalt movement, pioneered by Max Wertheimer (1880 – 1943), Kurt Koffka (1886 – 1941) and Wolfgang Köhler (1887 – 1967) emerged in Germany in 1912 and, until 1933, exercised “a dominating influence on German psychology”.

Gestalt means when parts identified individually have different characteristics to the whole (Gestalt means “organised whole”) e.g. describing a tree – it’s parts are trunk, branches, leaves, perhaps blossoms or fruit. But when you look at an entire tree, you are not conscious of the parts, you are aware of the overall object – the tree. Parts are of secondary importance even though they can be clearly seen. Gestalt is a perspective focuses on the belief that human consciousness cannot be broken down into its elements.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 9.48.13 AM
The Gestalt Perception which saw the whole is different from te sum of parts

Gestalt psychology (also Gestalt of the Berlin School) is a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel and analog with self-organizing tendencies, of that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. The Gestalt effect refers to the form-forming capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection simple lines and curves. Figure shows an example of picture that contains the gestalt theory.

What did you see in this picture? A saxophone palyer or a lady?

The word Gestalt in German literally means “shape” or “figure”. Gestalt is also known as the “Law of Simplicity” or the “Law of Pragnanz” (the entire figure or configuration), which states that every stimulus is perceived in its most simple form. In German, pragnanz means clarity, so laws of pragnanz are laws of clarity. The law of Pragnanz is also known as the law of a good figure or the law of simplicity. The most common translation is laws of good form. A law of pragnanz identifies an organizational tendency, a way in which the human brain decides that things go together. Objects in the environment are seen in a way that makes as simple as possible.  The Law of Pragnanz translates into the idea that people will perceive the best thing that are presented to them. Sometimes it is hard to follow the law of pragnanz, which is the case of the impossible figures, or shapes (abstract).  

Gestaltists performed many researches on perception and human learning. They believed learning is the result from good perception, which enable an individual to form correct concept in their mind. Later on they proposed the principles of law for perceptual organization. Henceforth, we will discuss these principles which consisted of six principles, which are good form, figure or ground, similarity, proximity, closure and continuity.

The Law of Good form or Pragnanz

The word ‘Gestalt’ means ‘form’ or ‘shape’. Gestalt psychologists were of the view that psychological organization will always be as ‘good’ as prevailing conditions allow. For Gestalt psychologists, firm is the primitive unit of perception. When we perceive, we will always pick out form. Our perceptions are influenced by our past experiences. This principle is also called Pragnanz Law, (Tan Oon Seng et al., 2003)

The Law of Figure – Ground Discrimination

The Rubin vase shown in figure is an example of this tendency to pick out form. We do not simply see black and white shapes; we also see two faces and a vase. What about Figure 10.6? Do you see a young lady or an old lady? 

Two faces or a vase?
Young Lady or Old Lady

The problem here is that we see the two forms of equal importance. If the source of this message wants us to perceive a vase, the vase is the intended figure and the background is the ground. The problem here is a confusion of figure and ground.

The Law of Proximity

Two men and the table

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 9.54.17 AM

Things, which are closer together in space of time, tend to be perceived as grouped together. Thus, if you want your audience to associate the product with the presenter, put them close together; if you want them to perceive two ideas as associated, present them in close proximity.

The Law of Similarity

Trees in different shapes

Things that are similar are likely to form ‘Gestaltes’ as groups. So, in the graphic labelled A (on the left), you probably see an X of fir trees against a background of the others. In the graphic labelled B (on the right), you may see a square of the other trees, partly surrounded by fir trees. The fact that, in picture labelled with A, we see an X while in the picture labelled with B, we can see a square, an example of good form or Pragnanz.

The Law of Closure

Perceptually, we have the tendency to fill in the gaps. In other words, we can still read WASHO, see the square and read ‘perception” despite the missing information. You probably know that redundancy can be deliberately added into messages to increase the likely fidelity of reception, but the Gestalt psychologists law of closure suggests that it certainly is not always necessary.

Words and Shape 

 The Law of Continuity

When you see figure (1), you are likely to see it as consisting of two lines like (1a), rather than of the two shapes (1b). This is the Gestalt principle of continuity which saw a single unbroken line is likely to be seen as an entity.

Line and Figures

 When you see figure (2), you are much more likely to see it as consisting of two lines like (2a and 2b), rather than as the series of shapes (2c).

Lines and Figures
Lines and Figures

Perceptually, where figures are defined by single unbroken like, they tend to be seen as an entity. This principle is of course of particular importance in teaching. Even something as simple as drawing a squiggle to link up apparently disparate elements on a page can be helpful in suggesting to the reader that they are parts of a whole.

The Application of Gestalt Theory in the Arts Teaching and Learning

This theory applies to the brain as a whole and is not partly delivered. According to Rudolf (1945) the appearance of the object depends on the location and the function is viewed as a whole.

When analyzing children’s drawing, they often make modifications to the drawn images from the observed image. According to Feldman, there are two types of images in children’s painting:

  1. Intracerebralimagecontained from thechildren’s observation.
  2. b. Images displayed are drawn from children’s artistic point of view.

As an art teacher, we need to understand the validity of this theory when viewing the images in the children’s painting. While painting, children often make modifications to the image seen. Why is it happened? There are four factors that influence the children to change the image drawn, namely:

  1. The modification effect when converting the optical stimulus to the brain cerebral.
  2. b. The modification effect of the notion in the process of finding a suitable image.
  3. c. The modification effect when using media images and the artistic process.
  4. d. Children’s brain psychomotorcoordination

As an art educator, we must accept the fundamental nature of the effects of the children. With only a spot of colour, it can create a never ending story. Thus in childhood, we are not able to measure their intelligence by just looking at the images in their works. Based on the statement, art teachers are not supposed to measure the intelligence of a child based on the visual found in their drawing.

As an art teacher, observation plays a crucial role in translating each image seen and observed. Not all pupils are able to make the same observation even though they belong in the same age group. In art education, teachers can play an important role in the motivation to balance the mental and cognitive of the children.


Behaviorism, also known as behavioral psychology, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our behaviors.

According to behaviorism, behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. This school of thought suggests that only observable behaviors should be studied, since internal states such as cognitions, emotions and moods are too subjective. Other leading figures in behaviorist theory are Edward L. Thorndike, B.F. Skinner, John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov. In this section, we will look at the application of the principles of classical conditioning and operant conditioning

Classical conditioning

The concept of classical conditioning was developed by a Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Classical conditioning is a type of learning which based on the association of a stimulus that does not ordinarily elicit a particular response with another that does elicit the response. From the definition, we understand that the key element in classical conditioning is association. It means that if two stimuli repeatedly experienced together, they will become associated. For example, if a student frequently encounters unpleasant stimuli in Mathematics class such as unfriendly teachers, difficult questions, and a lot of homework, he may learn to dislike Mathematics.

 Pavlov’s Experiments

Pavlov discovered classical conditioning almost by accident. Originally, he wanted to study the role of salivation indigestion. He measured how much saliva dogs produce when given meat. After a few days in the experiment, Pavlov noticed that the dogs in his laboratory started salivating when the lab attendant entered the room with the meat dish, before meat was placed in their mouth.

This aroused Pavlov’s curiosity and he pursued the issue with more experiments. For example, he sounded a bell just before presenting his dogs with food. After hearing the bell many times right before getting fed, the dogs began to salivate as soon as the bell rang. In other word, the dogs had been conditioned to salivate in response to a new stimulus (the bell) that normally would not produce salivation. The dogs had learned to associate the bell with food. Types of Stimulus and Response are an observable environmental event that has a potential to exert control over a behavioural response. A response is an over behaviour by a learner. Put it in a simpler way, a stimulus is anything that can directly influence behaviour and the stimulus produces a response.

In classical conditioning, there are 2 types of stimulus and 2 types of response. They are unconditioned stimulus, conditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, and conditioned response as explained in this figure.

Types of stimulus and response in classical conditioning

Look at Figure to help us understand the meaning of these stimulus and responses as well as the steps in the process of classical conditioning.

Figure Process of classical conditioningPicture1Picture1Picture1

 Operant Conditioning

Operant or instrumental conditioning is a form of learning in which the consequences of behaviour lead to changes in the probability that the behaviour will occur. Thorndike (1874- 1949) was the pioneer in studying this kind of learning. His famous formulation of Law of Effect lies at the heart of the operant conditioning. The Law of Effect states that behaviour that brings about a satisfying effect (reinforcement) is apt to be performed again, whereas behaviour that brings about negative effect (punishment) is apt to be suppressed (Morris & Maisto, 2001).

Types of Reinforcement and Punishment

Reinforcement is a consequence that increases the probability that behaviour will occur. On the other hand, punishment is a consequence that decreases the probability behaviour will occur. Put it another way, reinforcement will strengthen a behaviour while punishment will weaken a behaviour. There are 2 forms of reinforcement and punishment as shown in figure

Two types of reinforcement and punishment

Take note that when something is added or presented, the process of learning is called positive and when something is removed or taken away, the process of learning is called negative. Table 10.15 helps us to understand these forms of reinforcement and punishment.

Forms of Reinforcement and Punishment

Behaviourism in the Classroom    

This section describes how teachers can apply the principles of behaviourism in the classroom. It is divided into three subsections according to the perspectives discussed earlier that are classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory.

Applying Classical Conditioning in the Classroom

The key element in classical conditioning is association. Therefore, teachers are encouraged to associate variety of positive and pleasant events with learning and classroom activities. For example, a teacher may:

  • Use attractive learning aids.
  • Decorate the classrooms.
  • Encourage students to work in small groups for difficult learning tasks.
  • Greet the students and smile at them when he comes to the classroom.
  • Inform the students clearly and specifically the format of quizzes, tests, and examinations.
  • Make the students understand the rules of the classrooms.
  • Give ample time for students to prepare for and complete the learning tasks.

Applying Operant Conditioning in the Classroom

In operant conditioning, the consequences of behaviour produce changes in the probability that the behaviour will occur. Reinforcement and punishment are the 2 main concepts in operant conditioning. The following are some examples on how operant conditioning can be applied in the classrooms.

  • Recognize and reinforce positive behaviours and genuine task accomplishments.
  • Use various types of reinforcement such as teacher approval (praise, smiles, attention, and pats on the shoulder), concrete reinforcement (cookies, candies, and stationeries) and privileges (longer recess time and more time with friends).
  • Reinforce good behaviours and punish bad ones consistently.
  • Use schedule of reinforcement, such as surprise rewards, to encourage persistence.
  • Use positive punishment as the last option. Use negative punishment, such as detention class, instead.
  • Punish students’ behaviour, not their personal qualities.
  • Tell the students which behavior is being punished.


The “Cognitive revolution” is the name for an intellectual movement in the 1950s that began with what are known collectively as the cognitive sciences. It began in the modern context of greater interdisciplinary communication and research.

The relevant areas of interchange were the combination of psychology, anthropology and linguistics with approaches developed within the then-nascent fields of artificial intelligence, computer science and neuroscience. Two of the prominent figures in cognitive psychology are Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980) and Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934).

The combination of cognitive revolution

The cognitive revolution in psychology was a response to behaviourism, which was the predominant school in experimental psychology at the time. This school was heavily       influ­enced by Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, and other physiologists. They proposed that psychology could only become an objective science if it is based on observable behaviour in test subjects. Since mental events are not publicly observable, behaviourist psychologists avoided description of mental processes or the mind in their literature.

Psychoanalytic theories on the other hand stress the importance of the unconscious while cognitive theories emphasize on conscious thoughts. 3 important cognitive theories are Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory, Vygotsky’s sociocultural cognitive theory and information processing theories.

Cognitive Psychology focuses on the study of how people think, understand, and know. They emphasizes on learning how people comprehend and represent the outside world within themselves and how our ways of thinking about the world influence our behaviour.

From a cognitive learning perspective, learning involves the transformation of informa­tion in the environment into knowledge that is stored in the mind. Learning occurs when new knowledge is acquired or existing knowledge is modified by experience. Among the main issues studied and discussed by cognitive psychologists are:

  • The cognitive theories present a positive view of development, emphasizing conscious thinking.
  • The cognitive theories (especially Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s) emphasize on the individual’s active construction of understanding.
  • Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories underscore the importance of examining developmental changes in children’s thinking.
  • The information processing theory offers detail descriptions of cognitive processes.

Cognitive Structuralism

Cognitive structuralism was founded by Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and other cognitive psychologists. Whereas social constructivism was founded by Vygotsky (1896-1934). There are several opinions related to cognitive structuralism according to psychologists. According to Leinhardt (1992), “The awareness of interrelationships between stimuli or the use of appropriate schemata is significant to cognitive learning and to teaching and classroom learning”.

According to Leinhardt, Byrness, “Schemata serve several functions in learning: categorizing, remembering, comprehend­ing and problem solving. First, schemata or prior knowledge links categorize our experiences more efficiently for processing. This categorization of information facilitates the processes of remembrance (recall), and comprehension (understanding), all of which make problem solving more productive”.

Alba and Hasher (cf. Benjafield,) suggest that, “Schema facilitates the selection of information based on our interests. Further, once selected, the schemas enable the selected material to be organized abstractly and assist the individual in the processes of interpreting and integrating the new material, based on what he or she knows already”

Although cognitivists like Jerome Bruner and David Ausubel described ways of utilizing schema theory in classroom learning, but their perspectives on the structuring of prior knowledge linkages differed. David Ausubel (1968) is a psychologist who advanced a theory, which contrasted meaningful learning from rote learning. In Ausubel’s view, “To learn meaningfully, students must relate new knowledge (concepts and propositions) to what they already know.”

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Gagne’s Phases of Learning

Artistic Development & Cognitive Development Theories

Learning Outcomes

Upon the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Understand the Viktor Lowenfeld Creative and Mental Growth
  • Understand the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)
  • Understand the Calvin W. Taylor Creative Theory


According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of creativity is artistic or intellectual inventiveness. Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new. When you create something, you are actually bringing it into being, making it from nothing. But how do you make something from nothing? How do you achieve creativity? What is the essence of creativity?

Creativity comes in many forms. It can be scientific creativity, resulting in inventions or medical cures. It can be artistic or musical, resulting in beautiful paintings, sculptures or operas and songs. It can be creative writing, resulting in novels, short stories and poems. Creativity can even be as simple as arts and crafts, such as needle arts, yarn crafts, and woodcrafts – things you create with your own two hands.

The important thing to remember is that creativity includes generating the idea or concept, as well as applying that idea and producing or manifesting the end product or result. Creativity or imagination is an integral part of being human and separates us from the animal world. Carl R. Rogers said, “The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it.”

Craft (2000b), Starko (2001) and Cropley (2001) all make reference to early systematic study of creativity in the twentieth century in four areas:

  • Psychoanalytic – Cropley (2001) summarises the psychoanalytic take on creativity as: Primary process thinking, seen to be below consciousness, not restricted by reality and where novelty is generated. Secondary thinking takes the form of the conscious, rational and logical and is the root of the ego which inhibits novelty. To gain access to the novelty a person must admit it into consciousness by ‘biphasic’ thinking which works by exploring primary thinking and making it acceptable to secondary thinking. Psychoanalytic theory has not developed a particular theory of creativity in education, however this perspective has been influential in shaping new theories of creativity in education such as Craft (2000) who cites Assagioli (1974) rooted in the ideas of Jung and Freud.
  • Humanist – both Starko (2001) and Craft (2000) discuss the works of Maslow (1987) and Rogers (1954). The key to humanist enquiry into creativity for Maslow was self actualisation, the creative person acting in harmony with their inner needs and potentialities. For Rogers, there were three inner conditions of creativity: openness to experience, an internal locus of evaluation and the ability to toy with elements and concepts. Both of these theorists continue to be highly influential today, with Maslow’s (1987) work also playing a role within Craft’s (2000) theory.
  • Behaviourist – Craft (2000) uses Skinner as the most famous example of this approach. Where it was considered, creativity was conceptualised as part of theory which saw actions as the result of responses to specific stimuli. This approach to researching creativity is rarely applied today.
  • Cognitive – Craft (2000) and Cropley (2001) note that in the early twentieth century, this tradition was sparked by Galton’s work on genius. It was not until Guilford’s (1950) conceptualisation of divergent thinking that creativity itself came under the investigation of the early cognitive psychologists. This was part of Guilford’s Structure of Intellect model, which was a reaction against ‘g’, the idea that there is a single measurable unit of intelligence. Guilford identified components of divergent thinking that are still considered to be key in current creativity research, for example flexibility and originality (Starko, 2001).
  • From the 1950’s, research focused increasingly on the cognitive approach with investigations also developing into the role of personality in creativity and the stimulation of creativity, all of which are still active research areas today (Craft, 2000). By the end of the twentieth century the social systems approach had also gained support. These different approaches are considered next.

Viktor Lowenfeld Creative and Mental Growth

Viktor Lowenfeld was an art educator, artist, psychologist, author, and professor at Pennsylvania State University, and is famous for his works about child development and growth relating to art and creativity. Lowenfeld was born in Linz, Austria in 1903. He taught at elementary schools in Vienna as he was attending University in Vienna for art history and psychology, and Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, in which was where Lowenfeld studied under Edward Steinberg, whom required his students to work with ceramic sculptures while blindfolded.

All students, not just those who were artistically talented, were encouraged by Lowenfeld to have their creative abilities unfold over time. His focus was on creative self-expression as a form of individual personality and identity formation as well as development of relationships with others. In any art program, interactions between art teachers and students were of prime importance. Little teacher intervention was required or expected in the early stages as students built skills though their own experiences with materials. As students became older, some direct teacher intervention became important for conveying knowledge and understandings about art making and the art world.

In Lowenfeld’s schema, creative and mental growth took place in hierarchical stages that included social, emotional, perceptual, intellectual, aesthetic, and creative components. All children passed through the same stages in the same ways at more or less the same ages. Emphasis was on students’ own experiences with modest regard to affects of a student’s culture or the influence of other cultures including contemporary culture. According to Lowenfeld, it was only at adolescence that social influences played a role in creative development.

 These stages are only guides to help us understand more about child art development and are not a rigid definitive tool for the classroom. Age appropriate art programming will build upon the child’s abilities as they grow. Where an art program may provide a product the process to achieve this product should always be of prime importance, thus the knowledge of children’s artistic development is most important in order to reach children’s greatest creative potential.

Each child is an individual so should be the art expression.

Developmental Stages:

  • The Scribbling Stage ages 2-4
  • The Pre-schematic Stage ages 4-7
  • The Schematic Stage ages 7-9
  • The Dawning Realism Stage ages 9-11
  • The Pseudo-Naturalistic Stage ages 11-13

1) The Scribbling Stage ages 2-4

The first scribbles will be random marks. The child gains satisfaction for here there is active involvement in self-expression outside of crying. The average child starts scribbling around the age of two. The child is experiencing pure pleasure from the haphazard marks. The range and variety of scribbles is very great and relates to the child’s own development and experiences in his environment.

Disordered Scribbling

During this stage the marks on the paper can go in many directions. Where the child is drawing (on a table or floor) and the crayon size will influence the direction. The size of the scribbles shown on the paper is relative to the size of the child. At some point the child will discover that there is some relation to his motions and the marks on the paper. This may occur six months or so after the child starts scribbling. Enjoyment of this activity encourages the child to repeat and vary his motions. This helps in the development of motor coordination and feelings of mastering a new task.

 Naming the Scribbles

A parent may not recognize scribbles as anything, but by around the age of 3 1/2 to 4 the child begins naming scribbles. He has begun thinking in terms of pictures. Before this stage he was satisfied with the motions themselves, the activity was purely kinesthetic. In the naming scribbling stage the child connects the motions with the world around him. He is beginning to think in terms of pictures or symbols. Naming of scribbles shows that the child is ordering his thinking into symbols or a “schema”.


At no point should a child be inhibited, criticized or corrected while creating art during any stage of his development. Usually in the first stages of scribbling no special motivation is needed except to provide the child with the proper materials and the encouragement to go ahead with the activity.

The child’s own experiences are fertile topics that can motivate and excite them in art activities. Class field trips, stories from books, personal experiences etc. should be discussed before an art lesson to help the child to draw from his own vision, and thus enjoy and learn during the art lesson.

 Art Materials

The best materials for this stage are simple and easy to manipulate, fat black crayons or markers, 11 “x 18” (or smaller) white paper, white chalk on black paper or a chalkboard. I do not recommend the use of finger paints for children of any age. Children do not learn to use tools, in this case a paintbrush, nor does finger paint encourage the manipulation of paint. The finger paint distracts the children from the painting process, while they soil everything within their reach, the painting activity is forgotten.

Paints should be thick tempera or poster paints with large white paper and round medium sized brushes. Play dough, or easy to form modelling clay are wonderful in the development of fine and gross motor coordination. Occasional use of collage materials from random shapes (NOT PRECUT SHAPES) can add fun and involvement in cutting and pasting. Stencils can be useful if limited to the child manipulating and learning how to use the stencil.

Allow the children to cut their own shapes using safety scissors. They will derive pure enjoyment from this activity and show great pride in their achievement. Cutting with scissors can involve a child completely in his discovery in the use of a tool. A child’s fine motor coordination can develop rapidly through the mastery of cutting paper. Some children will not possess the gross motor coordination to even hold a pair of scissors, however tearing paper into shapes can fulfil the child’s need to manipulate paper into shapes of his own design.

2) First Representational Attempts: The Pre-schematic Stage 4-7 years

A different mode of drawing has begun- the conscious creation of form. From the disordered scribbling, to naming the scribbles now the child has developed a way to represent form. In scribbling the child was mainly interested in kinaesthetic activity, now he is involved in representing the world around him.

A child’s first representational attempts grow directly from symbols the child was using during the scribbling stage. The circles and longitudinal lines will come together to form a person. Usually the child’s first representational symbol is a man. The man is typically drawn with a circle for a head and two vertical lines as arms legs or a body. At this stage a child is constantly searching for new concepts, so while the “man” is always of primary importance form that may change many times.

The constant searching for new concepts will continue until about age 7. By this time the individual pattern or “schema” will begin to appear. The child is involved in discovering his own patterns, which will at times translate into direct and immediate representations of places and events. A child’s feelings can have profound effect upon his art creation. The more stimulating a child’s experiences the more dramatic and exciting his artwork will be. The child discovers there is a relationship between his drawings and his outside experiences

 The child in the pre-schematic stage is developing understanding of spatial relationships. The child may always appear in the center of the picture, while objects seem to float around in space. This is because the child is just learning to perceive his place in the world around him. The size of objects in a child’s picture may appear very different than what they are in reality. This is because the child places important objects larger on the picture then unimportant objects. For example, very large hands are common among children when they are drawing pictures of themselves involved in a hands-on activity


Any motivation at this stage should start with the child himself. The child must feel art to be an important stimulating experience. A child should become involved in and identified with his art experiences. Become involved with the children but let them work on their own level, and in their own way. Be sure that you find meaning and excitement in the art experience, with lots of encouragement and positive energy for the children.


Since the child at this age is excited by his ability to represent what is meaningful to him, any art experience should provide the opportunity for developing mastery of the material itself. Since the process of creation is more important than the product an art material should be selected that meets the needs of the age group for which it was planned. Constantly changing materials or using cute things in an art project can undermine the integrity of the child’s artistic expressions. Good quality crayons on 12″X18″ white paper, thick tempera or poster paint with a round medium sized bristle brush, clay, markers, collage materials, are all excellent art materials for this age group.

3) The Achievement of Form and Concept: The Schematic Stage. 7-9

 The importance of the schema can only be fully realized when we understand the child’s desire for a definite symbol, or schema of a real object. Although any drawing could be called a schema, here we will refer to schema as a concept which a child arrives at which he repeats again and again when no intentional experience influences him. These concepts are highly individualized. For some children they may be very intricate while for others the schema may be a simplified symbol. The schemas are as varied as the children themselves are. The schema of an object is the concept at which the child has finally arrived, and it represents the child’s active knowledge of the object.

At about age seven the drawing of a human figure should be a recognizable symbol. Usually all body parts are apparent and clothing, even fashions are present. Facial features are represented from very simple to the inclusion of eyelashes, earrings and various details. Hands and feet become important in the human form, but are not always present in every drawing. Sometimes ovals, triangles, squares circles, rectangles, or irregular shapes are used as schema for the body, although all kinds of shapes can represent aspects of a human figure.

In the human schema the child is not attempting to copy a visual form. The child arrives at a concept by a combination of many factors, his awareness of his own feelings, and his development of perceptual sensitivities. The child’s human schema can give us a clue as to the development of the individual.

Another schema that becomes apparent at this point in a child’s development is the “space schema”. The child finds new relationships between himself and other objects. No longer do objects seem to float around in space in a child’s artwork. Now there is a “baseline” on which all objects in the child’s schema will be placed. The “base line”, is just that, a line placed on the bottom of the paper by the child, on top of which everything is drawn.

At the schematic stage of development the child has not developed an awareness of the representation of a three dimensional quality of space. We find that the schema is usually a representation of two dimensions. The biggest discovery is that there is a definite order in spatial relationships. The space schema is entirely abstract and has only an indirect connection with nature, as adults know it. Another interesting visual way a child represents objects is to show the insides of the objects as X-ray pictures. He depicts the inside of a building or structure simultaneously with the outside. A child may even draw the insides of a human while showing the outside and the space around the man.


Motivation at this stage must create an atmosphere in which the child’s consciousness of being a part of the environment is stimulated. In the same way we need to stimulate a greater awareness of the actions and functions of the human figure. The inclusion of actions in an orderly space concept will be of greatest significance. Our motivation could be characterized by the words: we, action, and where.

It is important in any motivation that each child is personally involved. There should be a wide range of topics so a child has the opportunity to identify with his own particular interests: “Playing at Recess with My Class”, “Playing Ball with My Friends”, “Visiting the Zoo with My Family”.


Materials used by children at this stage should be the same as those used in previous stages, with the addition of printing weaving and perhaps “found objects” sculpture materials.

4) The Dawning- Realism: 9-11 years

One of the outstanding characteristics of this stage is that the child realizes he is part of a society—a society of peers. This is the stage where children are learning to work with groups of other children and cooperate much as they will in adult life. The discovery of sharing similar interests, secrets, and the pleasure of doing things together, are all very fundamental. There is a growing awareness that one can do more in a group than alone. This age is the time of groups or gangs. The word gang is not used negatively here. The reference is towards hanging out with friends in groups. This age shows an increasing interest in “social independence” from adult interference, learning about social structures in a personal way.

At this age the child is becoming more aware and sensitive to his environment. He is becoming more critical of himself and others. He may hide his drawings from inquisitive adults who may make some remark about their efforts. Studies have shown that there is a surprising similarity between drawings by children of this age and the drawings of untrained adults.

Children of this age have a strong desire to produce naturalistic or photographically real pictures. Although their experiences have much do with their artistic expression they are easily frustrated if their work does not appear the way they think it should. Be patient with children at this age, they are their own worst critics; adult interference can only cause more frustration in the child.

The schema is no longer adequate to represent the human figure during the gang age. The concept of the human figure as expressed during the schematic stage will give way to differentiation between male and female and much more detail will appear. This is the stage when the base lines will no longer sufficiently express their understanding of the world. The change from single base line to the discovery of the plane is usually a rapid one. We also find that the sky line is no longer drawn across the top of the page but now extends all the way down to the horizon. He has not yet developed a conscious visual perception of depth, but he has taken the first steps toward such awareness. The child will begin overlapping objects to show their relationship to one another in space.

At this stage the child is becoming sensitive to the qualities of a material. It is of great importance, that children be given the opportunity to improvise independently. There is a greater ability to use tools and multi-media materials. The emphasis should be on the process of manipulating and exploring the material and not upon achieving a “nice looking” finished product. Boys and girls will also have a preference of materials that they want to work with. Ask them what they are interested in working with. Provide enough variety to involve all of the children in a creative enjoyable art activity.


Motivation during this period must stress the newly discovered social independence in order to give the child a feeling of self-esteem. An art experience must give him an opportunity to express the growing awareness of self, and to satisfy a new curiosity for the environment. It must also inspire the child to use the newly found methods of group cooperation as beneficial means for achieving results. Group projects are best suited to this age group. Many experiences can motivate a group of children to work on a cooperative project. Allow the children to provide some direction as to their interest as individuals and in group situations


Some of the materials the child has used during previous stages of development can seem “babyish” to the gang age child. The child now has greater control over the art materials so will prefer a variety of materials which will enable him to become familiar with new ways to combine materials. If the child has experience in the use of basic art materials, then he will find new ways to express his ideas and show his mastery of the medium. Respect for the child’s personal expression is very important at this stage, for art can be a valuable medium for the child to express how he feels about himself, and his environment.

Now the child is ready to put his thoughts and ideas, feelings and reactions into a visual expressive form. Craft work can lend itself to this child’s need to explore new materials and fulfil their desires to make things. Care should be taken when choosing craft materials for a children’s art program. Many craft projects are “busy work” which require little creativity and are not fulfilling the child’s need to “do their own thing.” A selection of wood, papier-mâché, cloth, buttons, lace, cardboard, boxes; straws, colored paper, etc. can be saved and made available to the children.

The ability to break away from the schema and to recognize particular details connected with the self and with the environment is on of the characteristic of this age. Children between ages 9-11 are more observant of their environment and their interest in nature can be seen in their collection of things. They see things through their own experiences, and assume this reality is the way things really are. We can see that naturalism is not the ultimate goal of this age, because there is usually no attempt to show natural colors, light effects, folds of cloth etc. There should be no value judgment placed on a child’s artwork. At this age the child and his peers pass on plenty of value judgments about one another’s work. An adult only need recognize the sincerity vested in the work.

5) The Pseudo-Naturalistic Stage, the Stage of Reasoning: 11-13 Years

 The pseudo-naturalistic stage of development is very different than any of the previous stages. Because we are mainly concerned with elementary art development we will briefly cover this stage. This is the period of a child’s development termed, preadolescent. It is a time for seeking greater independence form adults. There is more awareness than ever of the human figure and the differences between boys and girls. A preadolescent is no longer a child but not yet an adult, thus the term child no longer applies. There is more interest in following the “crowd” and establishing his place in society. The preadolescent also has developed a strong sense of social awareness and the beginnings of a half-understood and not entirely welcome change in status.

During this stage, for the first time, the attention has to be shifted from the importance of the working process to an increased emphasis on the final product. The final product becomes more significant with increasing age. The pre-adolescent has a critical awareness toward their imaginative activity; many times they lose their spontaneous creative ability. An active, stimulating art program is necessary to keep students involved in the creative process.

The human figure takes on a predominant role in the preadolescent’s artwork. A motivating, rewarding art lesson is live model drawing. Students can take turns being the model, thus feeling a sense of cooperation and togetherness with classmates. Murals are excellent for working in groups and learning appreciation for the skills and ideas of others.


Any art motivation should stress the individual’s own contribution. At this stage of development it is important to reinforce individualistic thinking. An art program that is primarily concerned with productions may miss entirely one of the basic reasons for the existence of art in a school program, that is, the personal involvement of an individual and the opportunity for a depth of self-expression.


All of the materials, which the child has used during each stage of development, are appropriate at this stage. The difference is that now the way the child uses the materials will change. Technical proficiency has improved enough that the child will find new ways to use these materials. More sophisticated materials can now be introduced such as, water colors, oil paints, drafting supplies and rulers.

Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)

Building on J.P. Guilford’s work and created by Ellis Paul Torrance, the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a test of creativity, originally involved simple tests of divergent thinking and other problem-solving skills, which were scored on four scales:

  • Fluency. The total number of interpretable, meaningful, and relevant ideas generated in response to the stimulus.
  • Flexibility. The number of different categories of relevant responses.
  • Originality. The statistical rarity of the responses.
  • Elaboration. The amount of detail in the responses.

The third edition of the TTCT in 1984 eliminated the Flexibility scale from the figural test, but added Resistance to Premature Closure (based on Gestalt Psychology) and Abstractness of Titles as two new criterion referenced scores on the figural. Torrance called the new scoring procedure Streamlined Scoring. With the five norm-referenced measures that he now had (fluency, originality, abstractness of titles, elaboration and resistance to premature closure), he added 13 criterion referenced measures which include: emotional expressiveness, story-telling articulateness, movement or actions, expressiveness of titles, syntheses of incomplete figures, synthesis of lines, of circles, unusual visualization, extending or breaking boundaries, humor, richness of imagery, colourfulness of imagery, and fantasy.

To date, several longitudinal studies have been conducted to follow up the elementary school-aged students who were first administered the Torrance Tests in 1958 in Minnesota. There was a 22-year follow-up, a 40-year follow-up, and a 50 year follow-up.

Torrance (1962) grouped the different subtests of the Minnesota Tests of Creative Thinking (MTCT) into three categories.

  1. Verbal tasks using verbal stimuli
  2. Verbal tasks using non-verbal stimuli
  3. Non-verbal tasks

The TTCT has two parts:

  1. TTCT-Verbal.
  2. TTCT-Figural.
  1. TTCT-Verbal consists of five tasks: ask-and-guess, product improvement, unusual uses, unusual questions and just suppose.

 Activities 1-3: Ask-and-Guess

One of the clearest and most straightforward models of important elements in the creative thinking process is demonstrated in the Ask-and-Guess activities. It is included in the battery in order to give subjects an opportunity to express their curiosity and to measure their ability to develop hypotheses and think in terms of possible. In developing the various forms of this test, it has seemed to me that much of the essence of creative thinking, especially creative scientific thinking, is captured in the process of asking and guessing.

The Ask-and-Guess activities are divided into three parts or activities: Asking, Guessing Causes, and Guessing Consequences. Activity 1, Ask, reveals the subject’s ability to become sensitive to what is unknown because the questions asked are those that cannot be answered by simply looking at the picture.

Activity 2: Guessing Causes, and Activity 3,

Guessing Consequences

It should first be noted that Western scientific thought has long divided the phenomena of nature into two series: causal conditions, and the results or consequences of these conditions. Developmental psychology, however, has apparently been more concerned with the development of causal thinking than about thinking of consequences or possible. This does not mean, however, that psychology has been uninterested in the human ability to predict behavior. The ability of the clinician to predict human behavior, for example, has received considerable attention.

Activity 4: Product Improvement Activity

Product Improvement has always been one of the most dependable measures. It is a complex task with a high degree of face validity. It almost always makes good sense to teachers, parents, business people. They are able to recognize what they consider to be a desirable type of thinking. The activity is also attractive from the standpoint of administration and scoring. To most subjects at all age levels, it is an interesting task. It permits them to “regress in the service of the ego” and enables them to develop ideas that they would not dare express in more serious tasks.

Activity 5: Unusual Uses Activity

Unusual Uses, in Verbal Form A (Cardboard Boxes) and in Form B (Tin Cans), are fairly direct modifications of Guilford’s Brick Uses Test. After preliminary tryout with a variety of stimuli, the author decided to substitute tin cans and cardboard boxes, since bricks are less available for children to use in their play, and in their constructive and experimental activities.

Activity 7: Just Suppose Activity

Just Suppose is an adaptation of the consequences type test in Guilford’s battery, and is a variation of the Guessing Consequences Activity of the Ask -and-Guess activities. This variation was designed in an attempt to elicit a higher degree of fantasy and to be more effective with children. The subject is confronted with an improbable situation and is asked to predict the possible outcomes. In order to respond productively to this task, the subject must “play with” the possibility and imagine all of the things that could happen as a consequence. This kind of thinking seems to be highly important in creative behavior, but many individuals are unable to entertain such possibilities, even to this extent, and find such tasks intolerable.

  1. TTCT-Figural consists of three tasks: picture construction, picture completion and repeated figures of lines or circles.

 In picture construction, participants are given a pear or jellybean shape and they must make a picture out of the shape. In the picture completion task and the repeated task, participants are given 10 incomplete pictures of figures in which they must construct an image of picture.

Drawing skills or abilities are not important. Instead, psychologists rate the pictures of the six factors listed above. The abstractness of titles, for example, seeks to measure abstract thought by rating how far the title of images move away forms concrete labelling. And resistance to premature closure seeks to measure open-minded thinking. A psychologist administers the test which takes 90 minutes. The final score is called creativity quotient of CQ. While IQs score reflect the recall of facts (or finding the one right answer to each question) CQ reflect the ability to come up with innovative, original, and novel thoughts, ideas and images. Proponents of both tests say that having both IQ and CQ scores for all students and adults helps educators, vocational counsellors and clinical psychologists develop comprehensive profiles for all abilities and all talent levels.

 Rationale of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking Figural Activities

Although a variety of figural tasks have been developed, the standardized batteries consist of three activities, each designed to tap somewhat different aspects of creative functioning. These differences are ref1ected to some extent in the activity instructions. This triad of test activities in a sense represents at least three different creative tendencies. The Picture Construction Activity sets in motion the tendency toward finding a purpose for something that has no definite purpose and to elaborate so that a purpose is developed. The Picture Completion Activity calls into play the tendency toward structuring and integrating and gives an opportunity for in-depth presentation of a single object, scene, or situation. This activity creates tension in the beholder, who must control this tension long enough to make the mental leap necessary to get away from the obvious and commonplace. Failure to delay gratification usually results in the premature closure of the incomplete figures and an obvious or commonplace response. The invitation to make the drawing tell a story is designed to motivate elaboration and further filling in of gaps in information. In the Lines and Circles Activities, the repetition of Guiding Creative Talent, Making the single stimulus requires an ability to return to the stimulus again and again, perceiving it differently each time, disrupting structure in order to create something new.

 Calvin W. Taylor Creative Theory

Calvin W. Taylor is a psychologist who believes not all men are born and blessed with the same talent. He believes that an individual talent development depends on an educator’s ability to stimulate student thinking. In his theory “Multiple Creative Talent”, he explained that the formation of talent should be in line with the learning activities carried out in the classroom. Taylor also suggested five types of creativity to show the difference in an individual creative process. The types of creativity are:

(A) Expressive Creativity

Creativity is an expressive thought that often occur randomly and independently. It can be seen through children’s spontaneous drawing. The majority of paintings produced by children at this stage are free and according to their perception. The result of the painting also depends on the ability according to age and development of the children’s physical condition. At this stage, the painting is in the form of scribble and uncontrolled lines. The expressive creativity in this situation is independent and skill, originality and quality are not considered important by the students during the process of making the piece.

(B) Technical Creativity

Creativity through the production process refers to the efficiency and capability of a student in creating an artwork. In this stage, teachers should assist students to improve their existing skills. At present the role of educators is very important because students need guidance to identify methods and approaches that are proper and appropriate in the process of creating a good artwork.

(C) Inventive Creativity

Inventive creativity is referring to the individual’s ability to create new things or objects through experimentation process. At this stage the main emphasis is on new discovery and invention. It also involves an individual attempts to produce a theory, formula and conclusion from the experiment conducted. The role of educators at this stage is to encourage and support so that students will not easily give up.

(D) Innovative Creativity

Innovative creativity is a stage involves modification of the existing idea basic concepts to new ideas. At this stage, students begin to do the modification and reinventing with their own style and technique. Educators will assist and guide the students to identify the correct method to be practised. At this point, students have started to act outside the conventional norm and they will create an alternative method when planning to produce an artwork.

(E) Imaginative Creativity

Imaginative creativity is very important and crucial. At this stage the formal principles of art is transformed to abstract and simplicity. For example, a human figure depicted will be produced without considering the details.


Course Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the contemporary curriculum models in visual art education.
  2. Analyze and interpret creativity in visual art education.
  3. Apply the artistic development theories in cognitive development.
  4. Utilize the socio cultural cognitive development theory: Vygotski perspective and devise strategies in teaching visual art.
Course Description
The Course will focus on the curriculum practices in Art and Design Education. The curriculum component will provide overview of the principles and practices on the curriculum with a focus on the theories and practices in teaching and learning in contemporary art and design education.
Syllabus Content
Teaching Methodologies
  • Blended Learning
  • Discussion
  • Journal/Article Critique
  • Lectures
  • Presentation
  • Problem Based Learning (PBL)
  • Self-directed Learning
Continuous Assessment: 60.00%
Assignment – 30%
Journal/Article Critique – 30%
Final Assessment: 40.00%
Final Project – 40%
Transferable Skills
Student will learn about curriculum component will provide overview of the principles and practices on the curriculum with a focus on the theories and practices in teaching and learning in art and design education.
Scheme of Work
  1. Clark G.A and Zimmerman E. D , Educating Artistically Talented Students, Syracuse University Press, 1984
  2. Dunn P.C , Point of View Series Curriculum, . The National Art Education Association., 1995
  3. Efland A , A History of Art Education. Intellectual and , Teachers College Press, Columbia University., 1990
  4. Efland A D , Art and Cognition, Integrating the Visual Art, Teachers College Press, Columbia University N, 2002
  5. Efland A, Freedman K and Stuhr P , Postmodern Art Education, : An Approach to Curriculum. The National Art, 1996
  6. EIisner, E , The Education Imagination, New York: Macmillan., 1979
  7. Fisher R, Teaching Children To Think, Nelson Thornes. Ltd, 2005