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Title:Classification of Painting Styles Among American and Nigerian Children: A Developmental Study
Author(s):Osegi, Peter Ndidi
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Art
Abstract:Evidence of young children's ability to classify aesthetic objects like paintings cross-culturally is only beginning to be accumulated. The three experiments in this study examine two questions pertinent to classification: (a) Can young American and Nigerian children classify reproductions of paintings into schools of art, namely, American abstract expressionist and color field painting styles and Nigerian contemporist and transitionist styles? (b) Has culture any mediating influence on this aesthetic classificatory behavior? Subjects consisted of 311 American and 291 Nigerian, male and female, elementary school children from four developmental levels--kindergarten, 2nd, 4th and 6th grades. In each of the cultures, all children of the same age group were selected from the same school grade. Subjects in Experiment 1 were asked to indicate, from an array of four, the exemplar that is stylistically similar to 40 other pictures. In Experiment 2, the subjects were asked to group different pictures according to stylistic similarity, and in Experiment 3, they were asked to indicate the odd paintings from arrays of five pictures. The results showed that all the groups of subjects from Nigeria and the United States were able to classify paintings from the various stylistic schools. However, the higher the class, the more accurate were the responses. Generally, some styles were easier to categorize than others. Also, some styles were easier for the Americans to categorize and other styles were easier for the Nigerians to categorize. However, the responses were not related to the cultural origins of the styles. Cross-culturally, the results suggest that there are no differences between the two cultures in classifying paintings from different schools of art. The results are contrary to many studies that have found cultural differences in children's classification and children's ability to think abstractly or in generalities.
Issue Date:1988
Description:213 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823220
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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