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Re: [teacherartexchange] Learning by copying?


From: Jeff Pridie (jeffpridie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 17 2008 - 06:49:15 PDT

> Do you allow
> your students to copy as part of the learning process? If
> not, why?


Thank you for posing this question again at the beginning of the school year as it makes all pause and "think" our position on this issue. So many are impassioned by the "originality", "copying" issue. There are the purest and those who are not.

I think the bottom line on this issue is what do you want to have students accomplish if they do copy/imitate? What will they gain?
If they do not copy/imitate? What will they gain?

Another point here is for students to be honest with viewers if they have copied or imitated a work of art. They have re-created the image using their own skill level and techniques but the original image was not their own. The same thing can be said if they trace or opaque a piece of work. Drawing the line between free hand drawing and using devices. Honesty of how the image came about, was produced is something I think is the core of the debate. Some students the copy/imitate is about the only level they will get at while other students will migrate to the original concept. We as teachers have to facilitate the movement to original but also be mindful some students by their own learning style or commitment may never reach that level (not penalize them because they cannot).

I wonder how many "Artist" could come to terms with some of these same questions about copying/imitation? How honestly they could examine their own processes?

Jeff (Minnesota)


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