Our school is having a celebration and my eighth graders have been asked
to create a tiered "cake". We were given three boxes to stack, but I am
having a mental block on WHAT to do with them! Paper mache over them?
Any suggestions for how to add decoration? It is too close to the end
of the year for brainstorming. Help!
Saint George's School
2929 W. Waikiki Road
Spokane, WA 99208
From: Marvin Bartel [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 11:58 AM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] Gender diversity in elementary art ed?
I have been invited to write a chapter for an upcoming textbook
on art education. One of the topics my publisher wants me to cover is
"Gender Diversity" as it relates to boys and girls in K-6 grades. . . .
Could someone please address this? (Am I opening a 'can of worms'??)
May there be more worms among us. I think, unless there is documented
research, you should write from you own honest observations - stating it
as such - describing the kind of community you represent.
From my observations, (maybe my stereotypes) both boys and girls if
given choices of themes and topics will favor art topics that represent
their interests outside of the art class. Boys might express more
interest in cars, trucks, motorcycles, machines, racing, military
scenes, criminal and police scenes, muscle building, etc. I would
expect girls to more frequently make choices that concern the
environment, flowers, love, clothing, peace, horses, other animals and
birds, music etc. If you observe differences, it is also worth raising
the question about the degree to which these differences are a product
of acculturation. A description of the adult preferences in the
community might shed light on the preferences of the sixth graders.
What do those of you who are teaching sixth grade observe when students
are given their own choice of subjects and themes? If given a camera to
photograph four of their favorite things and activities, what
differences would emerge? How would you describe the parent and
community attitudes toward gender specific socialization?
We might also be able to observe similarities and differences in how
much each gender enjoys working with certain processes and tools.
In my opinion, whether or not differences are observed, an art education
text should speak to ways teachers can acknowledge and correct their own
discrimination, if any, regarding skills taught and expected, the work
they show in art history, and the sort of themes they encourage.
Here in Indiana, when I ask college students on a pre-test of art
knowledge to name the most famous women visual artist they know, many
non art majors are unable to come up with one name. Virtually all can
name a male artist. There is enough discrimination in museum
collections and reference books that many sixth grade girls may still
not realize that they are equally capable of a career in art (other than
teaching) if they choose it.
Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art Emeritus
Goshen College, 1700 South Main, Goshen IN 46526