Conceptualising a visual culture curriculum for Greek art education

  • Martha Christopoulou

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research contributes to the current debate about the need to redefine the goals and content of art education. The aim was to establish whether or not visual culture should be introduced into the school curriculum at primary level in Greece and if so how. It began with a review of international literature conducted to determine the current state of knowledge about visual culture education and an analysis of recent reforms to the Greek art curriculum. This led to the development of a theoretical framework for the empirical research in Greece
and a working definition of visual culture education. The research had two parts. In the first part, the researcher conducted group interviews with Greek children, aged between 6 and 12, for the purposes of establishing their preferences for
visual culture genres and their understanding of everyday images as a learning resource. The findings were that these children were aware that they lived in and interacted with visual images in the real world; they preferred looking at television imagery, but did not fully comprehend how they influenced their identity construction. In the second part, the researcher introduced visual culture education content and methods into art lessons in Greece. She conducted an educational intervention in two primary school classrooms over a period of five weeks using an experimental curriculum entitled ‘Deconstructing Television Imagery’. The evaluation found that the curriculum focus on telenovelas and Barbie animated films motivated learners to participate in art lessons and extended their understanding of these visual culture genres and how they impact on viewers’ lives.

A conclusion reached at the end of the research was that the primary school curriculum in Greece should include visual culture. Visual culture education should take into account the particularities of Greek students’ visual experiences and of Greek art education and culture. Consequently it should include fine arts, mass media and material culture, performing arts and the arts of spectacle. It would benefit from being interdisciplinary and embracing principles of critical pedagogy.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton

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