Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) [in Art]






Design -- Study and teaching, Composition (Art) -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

1 online resource (54 pages)


This research problem represents an attempt to forestall the high school student's usual preoccupation with perceptive minutiae by placing an emphasis on the monumental or underlying structure of a work of art.

The author, endeavoring to afford maximum success for the students, first stripped subject matter to its most pristine quality, the silhouette. Because it was felt that it is much easier to recognize and organize an underlying structure without the added complication of perspective, emphasis was placed on a depthless surface or decorative space to be organized into a coherent whole through application of the abstractions which are the elements and principles of design.

This unit was offered to a class of high school students in an Art General class at Madison High school, Portland, Oregon. This is an elective class open to all students from freshman to senior year. Results of this unit were generally successful. Improvement was exhibited by all students. During these activities of experimenting and creating, students learned about design by doing, looking, and discussing. They became less concerned about minutiae, and they began to express an appreciation for paintings for themselves rather than for recognizable objects or superfluous delineation.

It was concluded that students at this age level have the most difficulty when left to their own resources for subject matter. Many false starts were made before this particular problem was resolved. But, upon its completion, students felt that they had met a challenge of discovery, exploration, and creation on their own.


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