I'm about to begin my first year teaching high school art, though I'm a seasoned teacher in other fine arts courses. My colleagues insist that no copying ever be allowed, for any reason. While I understand the importance of the students learning to develop confidence in their own creativity, I also see the value of learning via imitation. I've certainly improved my own skills by examining drawings and photographs and trying to reproduce what I see. I saved all of the responses to the recent question about artistic process. Several of you mentioned working from photographs. How is that different? Or is it? I'd like to be able to offer a different point of view to my teammates but I need a better foundation. And I'm open to the possibility that my instinct is wrong. Do you allow your students to copy as part of the learning process? If not, why?