Schools have been found crucial sites of economic, political, and ideological reproduction. A non-reflective approach to art criticism that relies on visual description of the artwork or expressive response to the visual elements ensures that popular and dominant ideologies about what is art, what is good or important, and what is meaningful will prevail unquestioned. These ideologies include economic interests, as Gablik (1985) has argued; moral interests, as we have seen with, Jesse Helms' recent campaign (that might also have been fueled by a desire to reduce government spending); and the class interests of an economically powerful elite. The ideological component to art criticism in the classroom offers an enhanced understanding of art that both informs students of the ideologies of the decision-making classes of people, and allows them to explore art in the context of meaningful- "real life" - issues.
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