International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 10 Number 1

January 11, 2009

Another Look at Holistic Art Education: Exploring the Legacy of Henry Schaefer-Simmern

Sally Armstrong Gradle
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, USA
Citation: Gradle, S. A. (2009). Another look at holistic art education:
Exploring the legacy of Henry Schaefer-Simmern. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 10(1). Retrieved [date] from
In his forward to Curriculum in Abundance (2006), curriculum theorist William Pinar suggests that education should offer opportunities for self-formation which include the cultivation of our capacity to surrender, begin again, and dwell in possibility. This paper examines the theory and art education practices of a forgotten and often undervalued art educator, Henry Schaefer-Simmern, whose methodology seems congruent with some of the goals of holistic education today. Substantial insights were gleaned through interviews with one of his former students, Professor Emeritus of Art Education, Roy Abrahamson. Dr. Abrahamson's collection of published and unpublished papers on Schaefer- Simmern, his art work done under Schaefer-Simmern's direction, and his collection of student work extended my understanding of an alternative, yet viable, holistic approach to teaching and learning. Another look at this kind of art instruction is valuable as a part of a contemporary holistic practice.

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