I'm not an art instructor in the same sense that many of you are; however, I
do work to promote art education classes in the public schools and have
created (with the assistance of many others) an hour-long presentation called
State of the Arts in a Modern American Society as a part of my work. A key
element around which this presentation is centered is an Arts Survey, which
is now posted on the Web at
http://members.aol.com/DSimms7591/arts_survey.html. This is not an art
appreciation survey. There are already classes which do an excellent job at
teaching the difference between say impressionism and surrealism. Rather, it
is meant to invoke the participants into ruminating over the role of the arts
in our society in a way they probably never have before.
Typically, the respondents complete the survey and then I engage them in a
discussion of their responses. When making this presentation in person, I use
charts which back the arguments in favor of federal funding for the arts,
value of art appreciation classes in school, et cetera. I also use a
15-minute video (produced by Arts Advocacy of West Virginia) to reinforce
those same arguments.
While completing the survey over the Web would not be nearly as effective as
my actually giving the presentation in person, I am curious if any of you
would be interested in requiring your students (or possibly offering extra
credit to your students) to fill out and send the completed survey to me over
the Internet. If so, please email me prior to doing so, so that I may assign
a code to your school which the students will enter prior to completing the
survey. This way I will be able to keep a record of how people from different
parts of the country respond to these questions. You may also wish that I
return the completed surveys to you, so that you may be the one to engage the
students in a discussion of their responses; which I would happily do.
I do believe that the questions would be inappropriate for anyone under the
age of 16, but I encourage eveyone to at least stop by the site and give me
your feedback about it. Not all browsers will be able to support the form
format of the survey. This is an unfortunate problem, but apparently one
without a solution at present.