Discipline Based Art Education Basics (DBAE)
There are four areas of exploration in the DBAE approach, or four disciplines : art production, art
history, art criticism, and aesthetics. Each individual brings his or her own personal backgrounds to a
new work of art. DBAE helps them use their past experience to think about art and helps them
expand their ways of thinking about art. It trusts people to use their eyes and to ask questions that
mean something to them.
Here are some areas in which art viewers can learn through DBAE:
They learn that:
there are rewards for looking at and thinking about art
they are capable of doing it (observing and discussing)
there is more than one right answer
there are rules to the game that can make sense of art (interpretation)
they can communicate their ideas to someone else
They also learn how to:
keep an open mind about art and about other people
enjoy the experience of observing and discussing art.
Look for these experiences in new places
Four Disciplines
The discussion of art is very important in motivating a student to learn a new artistic concept and be
able to show his/her learning through production of a work based on that concept. The combination
of the viewing of art, discussion, and production produces sustained learning in all four categories of
the study of art. Creative expression with media alone does not do this. There are four areas for
discussion in art. The following is a summary of the four aspects of art education: art production, art
history, aesthetics, and art criticism.
Art Production
The activities in these art modules include the hands-on making of art. The given description of
each activity is a general one, aimed at multiple grade levels, with which teachers work to adapt
them up or down to the various abilities and attention spans of their students. With clear and thor-
ough motivational viewing of art and discussions, even Kindergarten students can participate in a
version of the activities. Because of time and space considerations, and because of the experience
teachers have of adapting lessons to meet the needs of their students, a lesson plan of each activity
for each grade level was not included.