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[teacherartexchange] The fact is that no matter what subject, we are all teachers


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 23 2006 - 10:22:41 PDT

Kevan says

"We have all heard students use that overblown phrase "this is an art
class -
I don't need to know how to spell." I think that just as students are
responsible to carry the information that they are learning from one
to another (irregardless of the above popular misconception),
teachers are
also responsible for helping students to reinforce as many skills as
can (and as are appropriate), to the lessons that they are teaching
in their

Just a little chime-in with agreement to what Kevan says.

It is not difficult to get art students to recognize the decisions
they are making about the work and then to ease them into writing
effective reviews and criticisms. That's the little part we do in
acquiring the skills they need to perform and pass the required
tests. If we can find ways for them to find ways to write and talk
about not only their own work, but the historical works --then we
are helping them perform and succeed in all areas. We are part of a
'cog' that we must nuture and grow.
When I have students that can't write well or are so afraid to write,
I allow them to feel at ease with the inadequacies they perceive. I
allow them to give me verbal responses, which I transpose. Then I
urge them into their own written responses. I allow for "errors"
without judgement until they can feel safe enough to make the written
The content is most important, the mechanics come after. When you
give credence to the content, then they will listen to the corrections.

> Teachers with areas of
> expertise in their own specific curriculum areas need to be able to
> become
> resources for their students beyond the specificity of the name of the
> course. At some point, it seems to me that it would be quite
> valuable to
> create opportunities for teachers to be able to work in a cross-
> disciplinary
> fashion with other teachers in different curriculum areas to see
> just what
> the connections are that can be explored between their areas, and what
> skills collectively can be worked on and improved by making those
> connections.

I have been asked to participate on a team to improve literacy skills
across all curriculums in my school. I'm not sure what this means
yet, but I am more than happy to. Regardless of how we all feel
about our own disciplines the only thing that matters now is that
kids pass the required tests. That may be unfortunate and debatable,
but that is how it is, for now.

Someday, we may all recognize the "multiple intelligences" and grant
all the successes to those that don't fit the required needs. Until
then, the fundamentals need to regarded and we all have to do our
part to see that the standards are met.

If we don't participate in the system that still sees us as a
"frill" subject area, then we will continue to moan and bemoan the
cuts that always come our way. If we continue to set ourselves apart
from the standards because we maintain an attitude that "artist's
don't have to" then all our advocacy goes for naught .


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