The Self-Portrait as a Means of Self-Investigation, Self-Projection and Identification among the Primary School Population in Croatia
The self-portrait is a reflection of the personality in a visual, physical sense, as a concrete form, a summary of the external characteristics of the artist, but also in a psychological sense, when the self-portrait becomes a mediator of communication with the self, a medium of self-investigation. In this way, the self-portrait exists as a means of self-reflection, self-awareness and acceptance of the Self. It contains three primary values: subjective, objective and the archetype. Considering that the self-portrait is not exclusively a means of introspection reserved only for artistic practice, but also includes activities of the entire population, ranging from early childhood to old age, the projective and reflexive features of this motif began to be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. These findings, as well the need for a new role for art teachers arising from the cognitive, emotional and moral needs of children and youth involved in the regular education system in the Republic of Croatia, gave rise to the project The Self-Portrait as a Means of Self-Investigation, Self-Projection and Identification, which was realised in the regular primary educational process, in fifth-grade art classes. The expressive and projective dimensions of children’s drawings, which can indicate the possibility of diagnostic and potentially therapeutic activity within the regular primary education system, were taken as a starting point. The project also sought to examine the impact of rational-cognitive principles of teaching on children’s creativity and expression.
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