Howdy fellow artsednetters!
I must have missed the original message that asked the following questions
Becky answered in her last e-mail but it's perfect timing. I want to hear
what you guys think about the Visual Culture Art Education approach that
Elliot Eisner wrote about last year and Paul Duncum wrote about in the most
recent issue of Art Education.
"Are we static art teachers?"
Absolutely not- While change is not comfortable, art teachers are constantly
learning new methods, philosophies, technologies, and applying them to out
our own practice.
"What do you think about art teachers and their ideologies these days?"
I think that creative expressionism is still in affect because most teachers
in practice were trained during the time that school of thought was
encouraged. I'd guess to say that many of us today practice at least a
modified version of DBAE. I personally am very excited and feel major
connections in my own teaching philosophy to this VCAE (below) because it
incorporates contemporary social issues, the media, and the history of
"Do they still use DBAE, interdisciplinary learning or creative
expressionism (Lowenfeld)any new ideas out there or new philosophies?"
I agree with Becky that the current trend is probably DBAE but I'm finding
myself drawn more to VCAE (Visual Culture Art Education). In a nutshell, it
is "critic understanding and empowerment not artistic expression" where
students have freedom to explore meaning for themselves. There will be a
huge focus on popular media as well as art history and world art. Rather
"than cherishing artistic traditions and the valuing of artistic
experimentation," students would "focus on the .. diverse ways people deal
with the visual products of global capitalism."
Today I had a very exciting meeting. Our school is planning an Electronic
Arts Academy (can't tell you much info yet) and we're completely changing
the curriculum of our Art I course so it will accommodate the needs of
students going in to graphic design, multimedia, video production, etc.
There was a team of 7 of us including my principal and my county arts
supervisor. When I showed them the articles on VCAE and how I felt that
would fit into my curriculum, they actually agreed to it! My county
supervisor warned my principal that my program's evaluation for success will
change from pretty projects to competent students getting internships with
local game companies. She said I'd get a lot of flack from other art
teachers and possibly parents and even called me a red headed step child!
But, taking risks to pilot new approaches is something I find extremely
exciting. Sorry this message is so long but I just want to hear what all of
you have to say about this.
Michelle H. Harrell
Southeast Raleigh High School
Center for Accelerated Studies/
Magnet for Math, Science, and Technology
Raleigh, NC 27610
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