The differences between visual cultures and modernist art education was stated succinctly by Olivia Gude writing in Art Education: The Journal of the NAEA. Instead of drawing from elements and principles of art (line, form, composition, color rhythms, shape, texture, etc.) Gude suggested a new vocabularym one based upon "appropriation, juxtapositions, recontextualisation, layering interaction of image and text, hybridity, gazing and representing.” The fiftieth anniversary of the CSEA was celebrated at the national conference held in Edmonton, Alberta.
Under NAEA sponsorship, Elliot W. Eisner and Michael Day edited the Handbook for Research and Policy in Art Education. At 879 pages it is the most compendious book published in art education. Its 36 chapters and 30 contributors cover major issues from history and assessment to speculations on the future of art education.
NAEA published Standards for Art Teacher Preparation, a document that discussed requirements for quality art teacher education programs, preparation of faculty, and knowledge and skills new art teachers will need as they enter the teaching profession.
National voluntary standards in the arts were developed by the three arts education associations the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, Music Educators National Conference, and the National Art Education Association> in conjunction with a movement for standards in all areas of the school curriculum.
The first class of the NAEA distinguished Fellows was installed. Hilda Lewis' Tools and Tasks: The Place of Developmental Studies, An Open Letter to Brent and Marjorie Wilson. Lewis accepted most of the Wilson's criticism of developmental stage theory but argued that traditional views of the theory can be useful for the study of children's drawing in transition. Marjorie Wilson and Brent Wilson The Case of the Disappearing Two Eye Profile or How Little Children Influence the Drawings of Little Children. At least eight researchers acknowledged two eyed profiles that they saw as part of a natural stage. The Wilsons noted in their article that the two eyed profile which has waned was the result of peer influence and that the influence of adults also contributed to its decline. The same year this article was published, the Wilsons and Al Hurwitz wrote Teaching Children to Draw: A Guide for Parents and Teachers, which redefined certain graphic principles shared by western children such as the use of X-ray lines, multiple views of the same subject, peer influences, and media influence. The Wilsons urge adults to show children examples of drawing that are slightly more advanced in order to serve as a motivational strategy for art making. Ellen Winner, Invented Worlds: The Psychology of Arts. The author described her own developmental stages theory. She faulted previous researchers for not paying more attention to the importance of western bias that assumed that naturalistic representations was the end point of development. She offered five stages of change for children: scribbling, pre-representational design, use of proportion in drawings, more coherent representations and natural or optical realism. Like others she discussed the x-ray symbol, perpendicular structure and non-overlapping forms. She also mentioned the repleteness factor mentioned by Howard Gardner and cautioned against arguments confusing children’s art with work of adults.
A program on the gifted and talented in art was held at the NAEA convention in Chicago. This was to a large degree art education's response to a general interest in children with special needs and leads to a number of publication and conferences in art education, as well as new programs for children and adolescents, including the growth of Magnet schools. Brent Wilson and Marjorie Wilson, As I See It: The Use and Uselessness of Developmental Stages. This was one of the first articles to seriously question the work and assumptions of the many scholars and psychologists who have attempted to account for the process of change in children's drawing. The Wilsons felt that previous writers have misunderstood, neglected or omitted the influence of the child's culture, peers, genders, and subject matter on stages of artistic development.
Karen Carroll and Al Hurwitz made a presentation on giftedness in art at the NAEA Conference. The years since then have shown a steady acceleration of books, articles, special programs, research studies and magnet schools that relate to students talented in art.
The publication of Art Education: The 64th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, an anthology of essays by leaders in art education designed as a status report on U.S. art educators. This book should be compared to the fortieth yearbook, published some thirty years earlier. A later, if somewhat briefer, effort was the Report of the NAEA Commission on Art Education (1977).
Manuel Barkan's article, "Transitions in Art Education: Changing Conceptions of Curriculum Content and Teaching," published in Art Education Journal of the NAEA, marked the initial stage of a movement toward increased emphasis on art content. This period was also a time of openness toward newer media, borrowed from the revolution of youth culture occurring in higher education.
The "greening" or consciousness-raising of America before the end of the Vietnam War resulted in an awareness of the diversity of American ethnicity accompanied by an acceleration of interest in technology and collaborative projects in art education see Hurwitz's "Collaboration in Art Education," NAEA.