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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 13:19:13 PDT

For those of you new to teaching, my best advice is, that administrations
fall for the latest and newest buzz words.
And when you have been teaching for just a few years you will find that none
of this is new. It's all recycled with a new name, but you will have to take
valuable time implementing and documenting what you already do. And nobody
will listen when you say this is what I already do.
And as art teachers, I think we should be aware and teaching how
manipulation of the old constantly resurfaces into some kind of slick new

I find more and more I need to make my students - a kind of sleuth. How do
we weed though all the crap that is presented to us and make intelligent
decisions and not fall into the crap?

Every day our youngsters are bombarded with images that they have no idea
how to decipher.
I'm not sure if it is possible for us to give them the insight and knowledge
to observe and determine what is real and what is a marketing tactic.

Can we any longer separate business, profit, and manipulation from what we
teach in our art classes?

I don't know
I've been on the computer for a few hours and watching the barrage of
imagery I come across --some of it chosen, and some it seems I have no
control over.
And even though what I delete or close may only take a second of
consideration, I wonder about the tactics that cause some to stay and Look?

I wonder if there are not some new standards that we need to consider in our
art teaching?
We keep holding onto stuff that is basically from the Renaissance. And I'm
wondering if our credibility is too linked to "old stuff."
If we are so tied to the elements and principles, how come so much of the
junk that comes across my screen has nothing to do with it?

I guess what I'm thinking is, that my job as an art educator is reaching
"all." A hand full will become artists. But most of the kids who pass
through my classes will have other lives. And I guess, because I teach
photo, I'm always talking about "truth"and manipulation in images. I'm not
sure I am able to translate that to contemporary art where I feel anyone's
obsession is legitimatized through marketing.

Do we need to make some reconsideration ? We make concessions to all the
other areas of curriculum in order to maintain our positions. It's a matter
of fact to me that math and writing and social studies are part of what I
teach. And I am sick to death of justifying it.

All I can say is that whenever I write curriculum or what ever I do, the
question I ask my self is:

       what do I want the student leaving my class knowing? especially if it
may be the last art class he/she ever takes.

If we all ask that question, maybe we can come to some standards that are