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Lesson Plans

Lowenfeld continued into a new thread...long...sorry.

From: lia (johns392)
Date: Sat Apr 08 2000 - 20:18:12 PDT

  • Next message: Charlotte Griswold: "Re: Working alongside students...?"

    Hi everyone!

    Probably partly it is this kind of communication we have here....that is
    .virtual..... but I am having a problem....with the way this
    Lowenfeld request thread is going. This began with an inquiry about
    Lowenfeld from someone who didn't know anything about him. ( Sorry....I
    don't remember who it was) Fine and ok. I think too many people ask things
    without making much strain to finding things out themselves....(and in this
    I am referring to more than just this discussion)....but I accept that not
    everyone likes the hunt as much as the I do. We are all pressed
    for time...etc. and I understand that too. I love the suggestions, places
    and ideas on this listserve. One can also... in a minute put a query
    online and come up with at least 8-10 sites on Lowenfeld....not that
    informative but informative enough for a start. This is a place of
    sharing....and it is what I love about it.....I value and use the tips and
    things as much as anyone...but also should also be a place of
    professionalism. If you are not familiar with "Creative and Mental Growth"
    as an art should be. That is not meant to be an
    accusation...but if you find out you are missing information.....and we all
    are.....then we go find out....good. So....that is why several people sent
    the person who made the inquiry to this book. It is the source. It is a
    classic book.....and the content should be familiar to all art
    educators. Lowenfeld is not hard to find out about....a quick search in
    a university library will bring up many articles to read about
    him.....containing both personal and professional information. My problem
    is we are also sending people to call Penn State (there are several volumes
    written about the conferences at Penn State while Lowenfeld was chair
    etc.) and ask about him. Why would we do that for someone beginning to
    search something out? And now we send this person to possibly talk to Dr.
    bill Lockhart.....who is very happily retired and making and flying kites
    in Texas and around the world? bill did study under Viktor
    Lowenfeld...and bill taught at Penn State, and bill was president of NAEA
    and bill is loved in Texas and other states... (I am in Minnesota and he
    is both my friend, mentor and hero) but what he has to offer someone about
    Viktor Lowenfeld is material which is for someone who is writing about a
    book or thesis or something about him....or someone chatting with him on a
    hot afternoon and going to that place. It is not for someone who is just
    casually asking who he is and needs to do some reading and study first. He
    has better things to do with his flying kites...though he is
    far too much of the gentleman to say this to someone. Even he, however,
    might gently send you to read "Creative and Mental Growth" and some journal
    articles before going on about it. maybe these people's
    suggestions came because they missed what I consider to be a basic
    information request......I don't know. I know they were meant well.....but
    .... If someone wants to do heart surgery we don't send them to the
    worlds greatest heart surgeon before they got through their first year of
    med school! We aren't doing anyone service by doing that either....but
    most especially not the person needing to construct their understanding
    from the ground up.

    Now this has been really bugging me all day...and so I have been reflecting
    about why.... It has to do with how we come to know....and with how we
    are becoming as a society to expect things to come to one...... sort of
    effortlessly. (I do not necessarily think that this was intended in the
    original question...I don't actually know or presume to. As I recall it
    was a pretty simple, straightforward question.) But mostly it has to do
    with how we as professionals.....also accommodate that...silently. We
    don't do it in our classrooms....many of us....but...

    Recently I was blessed and delighted to get the opportunity to go back into
    the elementary classroom after 9 years of working in higher ed. and doing
    graduate work. One of the things I have noticed is that kids (adults do
    this too) continue to want everything instantly..... knowledge, talent,
    beautiful art work. This was true 9 years ago....but it seems even more
    so today. It has to do with a lot of things....but probably technological
    changes are a large part of the impetus that has made these cultural
    changes even more predominant.....and so it goes. At the push of a button
    we can be somewhere or on TV, on the phone...or wherever...we
    can go somewhere else. The world changes and that is also a good
    thing. Given time.....we can teach students that good things sometimes
    come with patience and perseverance.....and that is part of what I want
    students to learn. You can't push a button and learn to draw... or bake a
    cake...though we are almost there with that one. It is also part of
    creative process, as is: struggle, all types of inner and external
    discipline, and many other qualities we have to reach for as human
    beings. It takes a long time to build that consciousness into a
    classroom. Many of you struggle with these issues daily.....but they
    aren't only about being the classroom....they are about being outside of
    it......where we are here....on this listserve.....where we are publicly as
    educators and people..... where we exist day to day.

    I also work part time at a book store.....a job I love because it allows me
    to keep a finger on the pulse of things going on in the world. There are
    many really great customers... and there are some people coming in wanting
    everything handed to them on a silver platter. I find this disconcerting
    as well as dangerous. For example..... I have had a professor call and ask
    me to give them the books that their students should read ....right from
    the telephone....and the computer.... to you studying and paying lots of
    money in the university....yikes! They are putting together their reading
    list, choosing their text and writing their syllabus....over the phone,
    with someone they don't know and books they've never read! Daily the
    bookstore gets called a library. Daily I get spoken to in one word I was something that one could put a keyword or a dime
    into and get out an answer.....rather than a person. We are a society
    that wants quick and easy information. But information isn't all that
    useful without knowledge....and that takes time and investment of self to
    get that. We handicap others if we don't give them opportunities to take
    this journey..... To me....It seems like a professional responsibility we
    have to others......

    There is so much beauty about knowing that we miss.... if we miss this
    point. Knowing whatever. About Viktor Lowenfeld's contributions to the
    field....or about creative process, or that we can throw a pot, or that we
    can learn to draw, or how to help our students succeed. By way of
    analogy... I could use the discussion we had about drawing on student
    work. If we draw on their work......then they will never know what they
    can really do. There are steps in the process that are critical too......
    like building blocks for confidence and other things.

    Ok. I got carried away. Didn't mean to offend anyone...least of all the
    person asking the original question. Having taught in Texas and knowing
    Kay's good reputation etc. I also am sure that no harm was intended in any
    of the suggestions made. It did give me something to think about all
    day....wonder what thoughts you all have about it. Thanks for letting me
    sound off...... lia

    >Try to contact Bill Lockhart, retired art educator, through Texas Tech
    >University in Lubbock, Texas. Bill studied under Lowenfeld and could give
    >you some valuable, personal history of the man.

    >By the way, I believe Bill is a past president of NAEA. He is revered and
    >loved by Texas art educators.


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