Login | Register

A Buberian analysis of the education of artists : student-teacher relationships in the undergraduate studio


A Buberian analysis of the education of artists : student-teacher relationships in the undergraduate studio

Benson, James Martin (1999) A Buberian analysis of the education of artists : student-teacher relationships in the undergraduate studio. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)


This study has two purposes: The first is to understand what takes place in the relationships between undergraduate studio teachers and students that often results in preventing authentic artistic existence. The second purpose is to understand the underlying assumptions of subjectivist and objectivist types of studio instructors and the potential for the attainment of authenticity in the relationships they have with their students. Martin Buber's concept of the dialogical I-Thou relationship is the basis for both his critique of subjectivist and objectivist educational traditions and his concept of authentic artistic existence. Buber's concept of dialogue is used first to analyze the relationships between teachers and students, then between artists and their artwork, and finally between studio instructors and their students. For the latter, the analysis utilizes examples from the author's own experiences as a student and also a studio teacher. Art education literature that presumably has had some impact/influence on artists/studio instructors is reviewed. The assumptions found in the literature are compared and contrasted to Buber's concept of the I-Thou relationship between the teacher and the student, and between the artist and the artwork. In contrast to the I-Thou, the literature tends to view the teacher or the artist in an I-It relationship, that is, as an active participant acting on a passive, dependent partner-the student or the artwork, respectively. Buber's concepts are then applied to the thesis purpose. Two pairs of metaphors are constructed to examine and critique subjectivist and objectivist instructors and students: the Magician-acolyte and the Matchmaker-debutante respectively. It is concluded that both types of relationships are exemplars of Buber's I-It relationship. Instructors who present themselves as subjectivist or objectivist exclusively, prevent dialogue. Consequently, students respond with an I-It, inauthentic existence. A model for a relationship that would result in authentic artistic existence for both participants is proposed. The metaphor of mentor-protégé, based on Buber's dialogic is presented as an alternative to the I-It experience.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Benson, James Martin
Pagination:vii, 131 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art Education
Thesis Supervisor(s):Mullen, Cathy
ID Code:697
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:13
Last Modified:28 Jan 2019 23:15
Related URLs:
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Back to top Back to top