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First of all, I would be very careful about how your program is used. If
you are an art specialist in an elementary school, your job is to teach the
subject of art NOT to relieve the classroom teachers of the burden of
decorating and holiday gift-making. We as art educators realize this, but
I understand that your principal may not, so you can't just refuse. You do
need to make sure that what you do is different from what the classroom
teachers have traditionally done while still pleasing. If you just make
life easier for the teachers, your job may not last in poor financial
So in the interests of keeping everybody happy, here are some ideas:
Making cards-- printmaking, handmade papers, marbleized papers
Textiles--tie-dye shirts, quilt blocks, weaving belts or bags, stitchery,
Ceramics--any type of container
I realize that these are all craft projects, but crafts have a long and
fine tradition and use the elements and principles. You also have lots of
opportunities for cultural connections.
And most importantly, most people find it easier to relate to crafts. Most
are functional which is nice and few people fail to appreciate handmade
> From: Litesal <Litesal>
> To: artsednet.edu
> Subject: Design Principles
> Date: Sunday, August 02, 1998 7:26 AM
> Dear Artsednetters:
> The current thread about other teachers and parents that are not educated
> about art enough to recognize what's important in art education is so
> and frustrating. Add to that, lack of respect for the subject (in el.
> school) and you've got a situation that can be difficult to deal with.
> example, I too, mostly get positive feedback about my students' artwork
> when it is craftsy and cutesy. In fact, if the work doesn't all look
> similar (which most times it doesn't) some think I've taught something
> Here is a dilemma I'd like some ideas about. My principal (new)
> how important "holiday art" and "nice things to take home" are to my art
> program. I said, "Why!?" He said, "P.R., parents expect that." I also
> suspect that teachers may complain because they "don't have time to make
> decorations" in their classroom (so my function, apparently is to supply
> patterns for adult pleasing decorations). Please share some holiday
> art ideas that are artistically meaningful, but would also satisfy the
> decorative or gift/craft quality that my principal says (he, teachers)
> parents expect.
> Please excuse this text if it is big and bold. Someone has been fooling
> with the comp. settings, and I have to fix them.
> Sincerely, Leah