The 50th Anniversary of the textbook Children and Their Art by Charles Gaitskill, Al Hurwitz and Mickey Day (in later editions) was celebrated. This makes Children and Their Art the art education text with the greatest longevity. It was the most read and least quoted text in the field as opposed to John Dewey who was the most quoted least read figure in art education.
The International Society for Education through Art (INSEA) was founded by UNESCO in Bristol, England, with the guidance of Herbert Read. The purpose of INSEA was to provide periodic forums for art educators interested in the philosophy, objectives, curricula, and methodology of art education, within an international framework. Tri-yearly meetings were held on a national and regional basis. Americans who have served as presidents were Edwin Ziegfeld, Al Hurwitz, and Elliot Eisner. Florence Cane, The Artists in Each of Us. Cane's book made connections between art therapy and the talented child through a series of case studies. Mildred Landis, Meaningful Art Education, a textbook based on theories of John Dewey. A doctoral dissertation from Harvard. Rosabel MacDonald, published Art as Education. The Canadian art educator Charles D. Gaitskell discussed the problem of motivation for picture making and writes of the power to picture making to clarify thoughts and feelings. Charles Dudley Gaitskell, director of art for the Ontario Ministry of Education, Canada, from the mid-1940's to his retirement in 1973, was invited by UNESCO to direct a seminar in Bristol, UK. It led to the formation of the International Society for Education through Art (INSEA) and set the stage for establishing a Canadian version.
The modern period in Canadian art education can be characterized by an interest in the organizing principles of art and design combined uneasily with theories of creativity. John Dewey's ideas about art, education and democracy, Herbert Read's call for education through art, and Viktor Lowenfeld's non-interventionist views of child art co-existed with a curriculum and practice that valued Bauhaus theories of art and design.
George S. Counts in Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order? rejected the mystique of individualism of the child-centered movement and like John Dewey called for greater social relevance in education.
Rugg and Shumaker exemplified a philosophy of individual creative self-expression in contrast to John Dewey's (also of Columbia University) view of education as "means of bringing about social reform" (Schools of Tomorrow, 1915). Of the two, Rugg and Schumaker's, because of their link between progressive education and the influence of European painting (Expressionism, in particular), proved to have the more profound influence in the art programs of both public and private schools.
Reliance upon the storytelling aspects of art recedes as the art world's interest in modern art grows. Students were required to keep art history notebooks composed of small reproductions with written commentaries. This was also the period of the Picture Study movement and volunteer mothers who visited schools to lecture on "great paintings." As Dewey's ideas began to merge with other child-centered educators, the era of progressive education grows, lasting until the demise of the movement in the 1930’s, during which time it enjoyed success in private schools. The progressives were committed to unit or project learning and the integration of subjects. "Creative expression" became a catchword of the movement and continues to be used. Since the teacher's responsibility was to provide materials and to foster an environment conducive to freedom and exploration the content of art was not a major concern. One consequence of emphasis on the child rather than on art was a decline in gains made by the Picture Study Movement. Many of the progressives' ideas will resurface in the 1960’s in the books of such "radical" critics as John Holt.
The Progressive Education Association (PEA) was established to promote the ides of John Dewey and other educational reformers. The Painter's Palette by Denman Waldo Ross was published. The Progressive Education Association developed the Seven Cardinal Principles of Education as a guide for use with content drawn from psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, art educator Frank Cizek, and political muralists of Mexico. Karl Buhler's Mental Development of the Child, one of Viktor Lowenfield's instructors at the University of Vienna's Department of Psychology, presented his own model of artistic development. He listed the following graphic transitions: scribbling, schematic treatment of objects and the search for realism. He also explored the relationships among drawing, language development and writing. Inverted Perspective by Pavel Florencki, a Russian art historian, discussed the simultaneity of points of view in Russian icons and compared this view of reality to the work of children. He did not mention parallel connections to cubism. Pablo Picasso saw an exhibit of the work of child artist Pamela Bianca and remarks, "I no longer feel the desire to paint." The Omega Workshops of the Virginia Woolf Circle exhibited work by Russian artist M. Larionov and the girls of Dudley High Schools (Marion Richardson's students). Roger Fry in Teaching Art claimed that although art cannot be taught, it was possible and advisable to "educate the powers of perception through motivation that is exciting." In the Dadaist Bulletin D Exhibition in Cologne, artists such as Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Hans Arp were shown alongside the work of children, Africans and the insane. Antisyzygy was arguably the most perplexing word in the vocabulary of Art Education. It was certainly the most difficult to pronounce. Stuart MacDonald, the Scottish historian of art education, cites its use in Gregory Smith's work on the aesthetics of antithesis as well as the poetry of MacDiarmid who both used it in reference to the resolution of contrary issues. For example, “The activity which combines the teaching of instrumental drawing with an expressive use of the imagination.” Stuart regarded antisyzygy as easier for Scotsmen (Scotspersons) to understand than it was for their English neighbors. Pedro Lemos, a Californian, opened the door for Native American awareness particularly of the Southwest. The Bauhaus was created. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" by Robert Weine, director debuted. Observations of solar eclipse confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Treaty of Versailles was written. Weimar Republic in Germany was established. The League of Nations at the Union Nations was created.
The NEA appointed a committee to report on the teaching of drawing in public schools. Their report stressed art appreciation, development of the creative impulse, the use of perceptual training for representational drawing, drawing as a vocational preparation and the rejection of the use of public schools for the training of professional artists. The Teacher's Manual (Part IV) of the eight-volume Prang series of art instruction was designed to serve classroom teachers, using such consultants as Winslow Homer, Arthur Dow, and Frederick Church to develop curricula in aesthetic judgment, art history, nature drawing, perspective, decoration, design, and paper construction. New Methods in Education by J. Liberty Tadd was published. Tadd, the director of the Public School of Industrial Arts in Philadelphia, was the first American art educator whose influence was felt in Europe. He was invited to lecture in Great Britain. His book was a marked departure from Walter Smith and stressed working directly from nature. Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow was published. May, first meeting of Eastern Art Teachers Association was held jointly at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Massachusetts State Exhibition on Drawing in the Public Schools held a conference to discuss the educational value of their exhibit. Notes on Egyptian Architecture and Ornament; To Accompany the Prang Examples of Historic Ornament in the Egyptian Style by John Spencer Clark and Mary Dana Hicks was published. Denman Waldo Ross began teaching design at Harvard University. Henry Turner Bailey studied design with Denman Waldo Ross. Henry Turner Bailey, in an article about elementary public art instruction, stated that America was unique in its vision of art education for the masses. The Prang Elementary Course / Art Instruction in Primary Schools - A Manual for Teachers, Mary Dana Hicks, (series of two hardbound methods textbooks).; First Year, Second Year. John Dewey published The Child and the Curriculum. In 1902, The School and Society was published. In both books, Dewey reaffirmed his belief in the value of visual expression, always searching for closer relevance between internal and external aspects of the lives of children. He used progressive phrases ("freedom of expression") and believed that schooling itself was life, not preparation for life. One way to achieve this was to plan projects, which reflected real world experience rather than academic or subject content matters.
John Dewey established the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago, an experimental elementary school that contributed to the development of Progressive Education. Dewey's school was a pioneer in teaching through the project methods based upon the lived life of the student. The first official lists of artworks studied in schools were prepared by colleges, boards of education, library associations, etc. The two major publishers who filled the growing need for art study are Perry Prints and University Prints. Mary Dana Hicks addressed the third annual meeting of the Western Drawing Teachers' Association in Indianapolis on "Color;" other speakers included John Dewey. American Series Drawing Books. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House (a series of twenty-nine workbooks). In A Study of Children's Drawings in the Early Years Herman T. Lukens studied 3,400 children's drawings and observed that children preferred to convey their own ideas rather than draw from observations and described the use of predetermined symbolic forms such as stereotypical and any and all forms of convenient visualization. His admonitions may seem peculiar to today's teachers. Lukens was the first researcher to compare language development with drawing development (Arlene Richards).
G. Stanley Hall was granted the first doctorate in psychology from Harvard University. He traveled to Germany to study with scholars who were at the forefront of thinking in psychology. He began to develop his theories of child development and the need to understand the special characters of the mind of the child. His ideas influenced the thinking of John Dewey, and between them, prepared the groundwork for what became known as progressive education. These ideas were destined to find their way into the art programs of both private and public schools and earn Hall the title of the "father of the Child Study Movement."