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The purpose of this paper is to clarify the significance and contribution of B. Reimer's studies to integrated arts education research, focusing on his theory of "arts as cognitive" and "comprehensive arts curriculum model."
In the 1970's, Reimer formulated the theory and method of integrated arts curriculum and instruction based on the "common elements approach." Though this method became widespread in the United States and Japan, the interdisciplinary curriculum organized around arts concepts received criticism because of its inclination to verbal activities and disregard of children's participation in artistic activities such as singing, painting and dancing. Consequently he changed his original idea of the "common elements approach" into the idea of "arts as cognitive" and systematized the "comprehensive arts curriculum model" in the late 1980's.
The idea of "arts as cognitive" is a way of organizing arts curricula from four different viewpoints concerning arts cognition such as; "knowing of," "knowing how," "knowing about," and "knowing why." This idea gives a base for the "comprehensive arts curriculum model." The features of "comprehensive arts curriculum" can be summarized into three points. 1) It offers both individual and interdisciplinary units for integrated arts education. Reimer insists that both units are needed in interdisciplinary arts education for developing aesthetic literacy. 2) It is based on the function of a verbal conceptualization that makes it possible to share the interdisciplinary units by several arts classes using verbalized themes. 3) The "comprehensive arts curriculum model" can be regarded as the interrelated curriculum because it focuses on maintaining each individual discipline's integrity. Reimer separates his idea from two other practices: a "multi-arts curriculum" and a "general arts curriculum." The former type is called a "parallel curriculum" where no correlations are made between several arts subjects. The latter type is called a "complete curriculum" where each discipline's integrity is neglected.
Although his method is not regarded applicable to other styles of integrated arts education, and is still receiving criticism from the multicultural viewpoints, it leaves a mark in the field of integrated arts education studies. First of all, his method brings out the need for two kinds of units, individual and interdisciplinary units, in integrated arts education. He makes it clear that neither the "multi-arts curriculum" nor the "general arts curriculum" are appropriate for developing an aesthetic literacy. Second, he succeeds in showing the way to integrate conceptualization and aesthetic perception of arts in formulating curricula. Integrating these two different styles of arts cognition has been a challenge in practicing integrated arts education. However, some practices such as humanities education have failed to achieve this because of heavy emphasis on conceptualization of arts. Copyright © 2002 日本カリキュラム学会.
Original languageJapanese
Pages (from-to)59-69
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


松信浩二(2002):B.リーマーによる芸術統合教育研究の意義:『芸術認識論』および「包括的芸術カリキュラムモデル」の検討を通して,《カリキュラム研究》, 11,頁59-69。


  • Alt. title: The significance of B. Reimer's studies in the field of integrated arts education research: Analysis of the "comprehensive arts curriculum model"