I think this attitude re: art must be attacked in the elementary school. I
have to say, when I came to my school, art was not huge on the hit parade
with students, although they all had one hour per week. I would say that
now, I am more demanding and my program is more academic....the students are
seeing the success attached to the work they do. The harder they work, the
more successful they are. I would say, if you took a pole of my students,
80% would feel they are good at art...perhaps 70% would say they like art. I
constantly educate (beginning with kindergartners and parents) that art is in
the thinking....the problem solving....based on what media one likes best.
Not every person is going to be successful with every medium....we experiment
with everything...a student will like some media better than others....and
that is perfectly fine.
I hardly ever come across the archaic attitude that there is the "class
artist" and no one else can match that. (except in parents and older students
whom I have not had previously) In fact, I often find that the student who
perhaps considers him/herself good at art is often that inflexible student
who will only draw the one cartoon he/she has perfected....as that is not
rewarded in my class...it becomes a non-issue.
Over and over again I see how important art education is at the elementary
level. This is the place where a teacher can really influence a student to
the positive and shape attitudes and self-esteem. I feel for HS and MS folk
who have poor feeder programs. We are very lucky here!