Understanding How College Students Describe Art: An Analysis on Art Education in China


  • Hong Wang Faculty of Education, Southwest University, China




Art appreciation, art description, art education, art elements and principles


This study aims to explore how Chinese college students appreciate art as reflected in their descriptions of an artwork. Students’ descriptions were defined by a content analysis with respect to opinions and facts, art elements and principles. A questionnaire was also used to investigate students’ attitudes toward art education. 85 students who were divided into four groups participated in the study. The results showed: (1) participants were more familiar with art appreciation than art elements and principles; (2) there was a slight but no significant difference between students’ describing facts and opinions; (3) participants had significantly higher scores on describing art elements than describing art principles; (4) among all participants with regard to all elements and principles, there was a significant difference of describing space between students of art education and students of music education, and also, there was a significant difference of describing value between Chinese language students and other students. The results suggested that participants, including those of art education, had poor knowledge and strategies of understanding art, implying art education in China may have ended up with failure.

Author Biography

  • Hong Wang, Faculty of Education, Southwest University, China

    associate professor, Faculty of Education, Southwest University, China


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