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as art teachers we freedom to present ideas about belief systems because it
is a legitimate part of our subject matter. like joseph said, though, our
personal views, whether intended or not, often come shining through as part
of this process. when there is a dominant religion (like christianity, for
example) there seems to be a trend to compare all other types of
spirituality to it and to see "other" religions as weird or confused... the
jist of all this is that we as teachers have a great deal of power. our
responsibility is to carefully analyze what we do and say to our kids, to
think about how it will affect them.
i believe it would be the greatest if all kids went home to some type of
family group who cared for them. but no matter how important i think this
is it doesn't change the fact that i have students who live in shelters,
medical clinics, and so on. so i don't say, "get this permission slip
signed by your mom and dad - " just cause i think everyone should have a
family doesn't make it so, and kids who don't end up feeling like they don't
fit in... the same thing happens when a teacher says something like, "you
can do your homework on sunday after you get home from church"
from richard: "If you rely on one tool to fix everything, you will
eventually encounter something you can
not fix. Education should be about providing many tools; not one."
most of us here realize there are many workable options for how to live
one's life in a postive way; isn't this what we want to get across to our
students, ultimately? is there ever any one best anything? the trick is to
give students information about many spiritual perspectives as they relate
to art studies without making any one appear superior to the others.