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Lesson Plans

Why Teach Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
William Norton (alethiap)
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 22:13:52 -0600 (CST)

I have had Diane Gregory's questions on my computer for a few weeks now
pondering what my reponse should be. After much thought and concern I feel
something is missing in all the responses. No one has mentioned the need
to truely care about our students and their lives which they live.

I have been teaching art for close to 25 years now. During that time I
have seen many trends come and go. I was taught that studio is the most
important, if not the only thing which should be taught. Experience Art
for art's sake. Then we were expected to give these students a "little"
Art history. DBAE has been at the forefront of Art education now for a few
years. I think a lot of us have debated the percentages of how much
studio/History/evaluation/ and the complicated one called aesthetics. Now
we are in the middle of all the debate for and against the 4 period day.

Where are the students feeling and thaughts in all this? Our students
today come with so much baggage! Nothing surprises me in relation to what
their lives entail!(sp). How can we expect learning when so many come to
class so mixed up.
To me this is the most important job we have. We have to make these young
people feel at least a little bit better about themselves, for a little

If all I did was to teach some skill to my students, I would have gotten
out of this business a long time ago. We as art teachers have a unique
position in our schools. Students can "hide" fairly easy in most of the
classes in school. But it is very hard to "hide" in an art class!! We
have to respond to their needs.

One final thought. Education must do a better job in enstilling upon all
of us the necessity of developing a heart. It is very hard to teach this
concept. It only comes with practice and caring. Just think what our
schools could be if "all" of us felt our students were important to us? I
realize we can't reach everyone, and boy have I had some of the
"unreachables". But at least we must keep trying.

Enough preaching. But this concept knaws at me on a constant basis. Thank
you for listening. And keep up.the good work!!!


  • Maybe reply: DebbieDBAE: "Re: Why Teach Art"