The Council for Exceptional Children operates under a set of standards aimed at special educators that ensure the program’s efficiency is combined with the well-being of the target. They exist to inform schools, credential agencies, preparation programs and accreditation organizations. Artifacts created throughout education generally reflect one or several of these standards. They are defined both by the educational programs the teachers are following and by the resources, financial or otherwise, available within the school or the center.
A concept of an artifact in education refers to a material object created by the student in an educational process. For this assignment a self-portrait drawing made upon request or within the assignment from the educator is analyzed as an artifact. It demonstrates proficiency with the CEC standard of learner individuality and personal development. The task of delivering a self-portrait is tied to a student’s personal image and self-perception. It would inform the teacher, with varying degrees of accuracy, how a student sees themselves and what they believe about their appearance. Although not directly reflective of the CEC standard in question, the artifact would be of a highly personalized nature, thus supporting the idea that every learner is unique and deserves personal attention within the system.
The existing body of research supports the claim regarding the positive relationship between self-portrait exercises and ideas of personal self-worth for the target group in question. It comments on the links between art and perception of reality in the eyes of subjects with developmental disorders (Alter-Muri, 2017: Bradley & Newbutt, 2018; Malhotra, 2019). In particular, the students that belong to the autistic spectrum benefit from the artifact’s potential for self-reflection massively, due to their high levels of self-reflection and attention to detail.
Alter-Muri, S. B. (2017). Art education and art therapy strategies for autism spectrum disorder students. Art Education, 70(5), 20-25.
Bradley, R., & Newbutt, N. (2018). Autism and virtual reality head-mounted displays: a state of the art systematic review. Journal of Enabling Technologies, 12(3), 103-113,
Malhotra, B. (2019). Art therapy with puppet making to promote emotional empathy for an adolescent with autism. Art Therapy, 36(4), 183-191.