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I don't know why we worry so much about children doing what we want
them to do. we must learn to let children tell us what to do. take
their interests and turn them into teachable moments. is it really
important that everyone produce a painting of the sea or or an animal,
or is it expression through art at which we are trying to arrive.
listen to your children's conversations and help them develop the
projects from which they are going to learn most.
>From: Scurfield <scurfield>
>Subject: Mainstreaming special ed into art
>Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 14:31:16 -0500
>Did I ever pose a question which struck a nerve with a lot of you!
>Actually I have many special ed kids mainstreamed in and often I
>even know that they are special ed for months. As mentioned by
>members, the learning disabled students often do as well--or
>better!--than the regular ed kids. My own personal philosophy for
>phenomenon is that they are visual learners and the art room is a
>where they shine! But I have two little guys who are just not
>developmentally ready for the lessons I am giving. One is greatly
>helped by his neighbor, who I just recently found out is also in
>ed--and I didn't know it! (I just joined this school in January) It
>a beautiful thing to watch the helper teach the other child, so maybe
>the situation is OK after all. I was feeling guilty that I relied so
>much on this other child to help me teach, where in reality, I now
>"Nick's" teaching is making him learn the concepts so much better.
>it's obvious that he enjoys it and it's not a burden. Whatever
>But at my other school poor little "Andy" is in the preschematic
>(early) and gets very frustrated by what I ask the first graders to
>Then he wanders the room and we've had a few battles, he thinks I
>like him, etc. He is really a sweet kid one on one. I've decided
>to push him so hard to produce. Most of the "art" that I've seen
>in the special ed classrooms is not what I would call "art"--color
>ditto kind of things. I don't know how to adapt my lessons for him.
>I have also taught art to a self-contained autistic class where there
>were about eight kids, three aides and me. We had two kids each and
>were BUSY! Often the aides would "do" the project for the kids. So
>tried to rotate among the kids, keep my mouth shut, and be happy for
>small miracles--and we had a few! I came to love those kids very
>When they were successful at a new skill it was so rewarding.
>I now have a gifted class--ten kids, K-5th, not necessarily gifted in
>art. Some have behavioral problems, but actually they are great fun
>In many cases mainstreaming is the best way to go for both teacher
>student, but when it's not working I would just like a little support
>from the special ed teachers. All I'm asking for is an appropriate
>Thanks for all the feedback. Once again the collective wisdom of the
>members of the listserve has helped me think through a problem. I
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