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> At 11:29 PM 4/3/98 -0500, bob carl wrote:
> >why are many postings tied to holiday art? Aren't we at the end of the
> >trying to free ourselves from "holiday art" and the like. Let the
> >classroom teachers dish
> >out that stuff. It ain't for me. How do the rest of you feel ?
> i'd like to hear more about this, too. one one hand, i definitely don't
> want to be stuck making bunny ears or crosses out of construction paper
> this easter. lame holiday projects are the pits. i've also read about how
> using holidays as the only time to introduce traditions from other
> cultures is implying the cultures' only contributions are fun and
> games/frills type stuff; this criticism makes sense to me. i have also been
> appalled, in the past as a student and now as a teacher, at how others
> assume everyone is Christian and wants to celebrate Christianity.
> on the other hand, though, holidays can be lots of FUN and it sometimes
> seems we are lacking in this at school. at our school last year (middle
> school) halloween was "banned" - no costumes or make up were allowed
> supposedly because it was too distracting. i thought this was a huge
> bummer. i have also been intrigued to learn about and share the origins of
> some holidays with my kids. st. patrick's day, for example - everyone
> wears green, but does anyone know why? to me its a little disturbing that
> we all participate in something few of us understand or bother to think
> about. holidays pose a little critical thinking opportunity...there are
> some excellent web resources for "real" holiday info.
> in addition, i feel like a dazed moth in my strong attraction to cool
> holiday art traditions from non modern mainstream usa. some examples are
> the art of pysanky, sort of like batik engraving for eggs (awesome web
> sites!), the dias de los muertos figures, chinese new year dragon
> i would love to hear if/how others struggle with these issues and what
> solutions have been found!
> Wendy Sauls
> Art Teacher, Kanapaha Middle School, Gainesville, FL
> Doctoral Student, Art Education, Florida State University
> home page: http://grove.ufl.edu/~c4930cqs/home.html
Wendy, Bob & all,
I have mixed feelings about this holiday stuff too. There is so much to
cover the way it is in the little time we are given and it seems that the
holiday stuff gets in the way. But I have to admit
that the kids do enjoy the holiday art whether Christian or not. Holiday art
lessons do not have to be lacking in critical thinking opportunities. The
lessons could be developed into something more stimulating than just cutting
out bunny ears. It's a matter of time and energy.
Wendy, you mentioned pysanky, dias de los muertos figures, and chinese
dragons. Aren't those also multicultural projects? If you are drawn to them ,
go for it. Your enthusiasm will be contagious to your students. Have fun !