Long-term trends in the system of education and moral education in our society point to the necessity of elementary school students being approached in a holistic manner and being encouraged to develop the skills and competences to help them encounter the challenges of the present day. In this respect, the teaching subject of visual arts is among the ones designed to develop creativity, the sense of beauty, and critical thinking. This paper deals with the role of a work of art as a motivational factor for developing and encouraging visual arts competences in lower grades elementary school students in visual arts classes. For the purpose of this research, there has been a programme entitled ‘Exemplary works of visual arts’ designed, with a view to encouraging students to creativity. The research focuses on the issue of whether a visual arts work of the 20th century, through a planned exemplary programme in visual arts classes, can develop creativity in lower grades elementary school students and to what extent. As for the goal of the research, it is to determine the impact of introduction of exemplary works of visual arts in the teaching process on the development of visual arts competences and creativity in students, with the aim of establishing applicative values of this method. The sample consists of 840 students of elementary schools in the city of Banja Luka, aged 7-14, and the results of the research reveal much better perceptive competences within the experimental group students. This confirms our hypothesis that visual arts teaching can be improved by more systematically introducing works of visual arts in its process. In the end, these conclusions may serve as a starting point for visual arts teachers in designing programmes featuring an actual work of art as an important teaching device for the improvement of the overall system of education and moral education.
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