For more details on Canada art education history see From Drawing to Visual Culture: A History of Art Education in Canada, edited by Harold Pearse (2006) and published by McGill-Queen's University Press: Montreal & Kingston, London, Ithaca.
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.
British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia announced compulsory fine arts credit for high school graduation.
Art education in the late modern and postmodern era could be described as an amalgam of child-centered modernist philosophies and practices, Bauhaus-engendered "art fundamental" theories laced with American discipline based art education and a Canadianized version of "Arts Education," enlivened with a dash of multiculturalism and a recognition of the pervasiveness of visual culture in all its facets.
Saskatchewan developed and implemented a coherent arts education (visual art, dance, drama, music) curriculum for grades one through twelve for use by generalist classroom teachers and specialists alike. An important aspect of the Sasketchewan arts curriculum was that it includes Indian, Metis and Inuit content and perspectives.
Art education programs in Canada's public art galleries and museums grew. The art gallery, its educational staff and its visual resources became key and essential elements of art education in Canada.
Following the launching of Sputnik in 1957 and the emphasis on science education, BC's Chant Royal Commission lessoned the importance of secondary school art programs, relegating art to the "non-academic stream."
Post graduate programs (MA and MFA) were established at Sir George Williams University (later Concordia) in Montreal, York University in Toronto, The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax and the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In Children's Art: A Study of Normal Development in Children's Modes of Visualization, Miriam Lindstrom offers her view of six developmental stages which are scribbling, controlled marks, basic forms schematic formulas, desire for instruction in observational skills concluding with the stage of expression and appreciation. Herbert Read's Significance of Children's Art discussed the nature of symbolic form in child art such as the mandala or circular magic forms. He argued that to create personal, symbolic forms the child must be totally free and spontaneous. Observational skills and the use of symbols are incompatible. He disagreed with the Freudian interpretation of symbolic forms, the mandala in particular. Early school art broadcasts produced by the CBC in cooperation with the National Gallery of Canada called The Things We See.
The Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA) was founded in Quebec City, largely due to the initiative of C.D. Gaitskell who was elected its first President. Also involved in the creation of this national association were Wynona Mulcaster of the Saskatoon Normal School, Murray MacDonald, Supervisor of art for Edmonton Public Schools, and Howard Dierlam, a teacher who eventually became Director of Arts and Craft for the City of Toronoto.