Letter: Children lose visual memories

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The Independent Online
Children lose visual memories

Sir: One faculty previously held in abundance by children and now in decline ("The loss of our innocence", 15 August) lies within their visual awareness and experience. Art education has suffered not only from the reduction of visual memories of "outdoors" - landscape, street scenes, backyards etc - which previously children could refer to, but also as a result of the young and impressionable receiving an increasing amount of imagery produced by computers and television.

Both primary and secondary school pupils demonstrate today a visual repertoire far inferior to that which existed even ten years ago. If the GCE art examinations, which demanded a swift, feeling response to a set of titles for paintings or designs (which existed up to the 1970s) were to be set today it is difficult to imagine many candidates being able to cope adequately. In many art departments today that aspect of "remembered distilled experience" cannot be employed as a starting point.


Art teacher

Radcliffe, Greater Manchester