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Re:[teacherartexchange] lesson idea: race (digest: Dec 26, 2005)

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dianegregory_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Wed Dec 28 2005 - 18:15:41 PST


Hi Wendy,

I advocate for social change in my art teacher education program hopefully
without dictating the specific way for social change. I hope that students can
be empowered through an education in art to confront some of the great social
issues of our times: injustice, poverty, intolerance, ignorance, crime, etc.
I also think an education should be about answering the Big Questions: Who am
I? Why am I here? etc...

  To me this is what an education should be for. However, some do not see it
this way. So do not be surprised if the social change that is advocated is not
what you would advocate. As a social constructivist teacher educator, I want to
create an environment where students are free to think on their own and draw
their own conclusions and to create their own visions. Sadly, some parents do
not want students to think on their own or independently. They want their
children to believe as they do without question.

In encouraging my students (future teachers) I want to try to remain neutral so
that I do not fall prey into emotional reasoning and lose perspective or be
accussed of indoctrinating students to any one position. I feel it is my role
not to take sides, but to rather focus on the validity of the arguments
presented. It is hard sometimes when I hear philosophies I do not support (I
am pretty liberal so it takes a very unique, startling position for me to get
stirred up.) However, tolerance requires me to be tolerant of intolerant
positions--one of the biggest dilemmas and challenges of the liberal educator.

Cheers,

Diane

Quoting wendy free <wendypaigefree@yahoo.com>:

> wow. thanks, diane, for explaining + illustrating the
> complexities. this perspective is a lot to think
> about. am thankful to be where i am! you are right,
> though; i am promoting values. i justify this by
> telling myself that it counteracts the negative hidden
> curriculum i witness. another reason i feel compelled
> to address racism is that even though "we" are
> comparatively at ease in dealing with race in my
> situation, it still is tiptoed around to a great
> extent. for example, i have recently questioned my
> kids about describing someone in conversation as,
> "that black/white/chinese(referring to asian)girl".
> my kids say its ok but i'm not sure. i told them i
> feel ok being referred to as "the art teacher" but not
> as "the white teacher". my logic seems to be to take
> advantage of an open group + environment and see what
> is produced. i guess i have more of an art for social
> change philosophy than i thought!
>
> wendy free
>
>
>
>
>
> --- dianegregory@grandecom.net wrote:
>
> > Hi Wendy,
> >
> > Some parents in Texas are quite sensitive when
> > teachers attempt to instill
> > values. They feel that this is their domain. The
> > role of the teacher is to
> > inform, not to advocate for any position,
> > particulary values about sensitive
> > topics such as race. Values such as tolerance,
> > open-mindness, moral relativism
> > and humanism are considered by some as secular
> > humanism and against their
> > religious beliefs and value system. Some citizens
> > in Texas and other
> > conservative individuals throughout the United
> > States do not support beliefs
> > that have anything to due with value pluralism. I
> > think they would support
> > discussing the various values, but not to the extent
> > of advocating or
> > supporting a particular position. This is why in
> > Texas, teachers tread lightly
> > on certain topics. Ironically, these same
> > individuals do not seem to mind if a
> > value that they support is advocated. I am
> > constantly amazed how such topics
> > as tolerance, compassion for others, respect for the
> > religious/ideological
> > beliefs of others can be twisted to mean something
> > that is somehow negative.
> > But I have seen this kind of thing first hand. It
> > is amazing how teaching
> > humanistic values can be so misconstrued.
> >
> > Schools actually do teach values all the time. It
> > is quite difficult to get
> > away without teaching some kind of value. Some
> > values are more politically
> > charged than others, race would be one of them in
> > Texas. Remaining neutral and
> > focusing on the art content, rather
> > than taking the risk of being portrayed as someone
> > with a liberal hidden agenda,
> > may be the discreet way to deal with sensitive
> > values in those communities. In
> > the long run, this may be the best way to be heard,
> > especially in some
> > conservitive communities in Texas.
> >
> > I hope this answers your question.
> >
> > cheers,
> >
> > Diane
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Quoting wendy free <wendypaigefree@yahoo.com>:
> >
> > > hi dianne and all,
> > >
> > > goals i had in mind: awareness, consideration, and
> > > self reflection. it seems many people are
> > finished
> > > thinking about race, color, discrimination because
> > > they believe its resolved. from what i see, we
> > have a
> > > long way to go. many schools are still segregated
> > as
> > > are neighborhoods; literacy rates and earnings for
> > > people of color lag behind; prison populations are
> > > greatly skewed; representation of nonwhites in
> > mass
> > > media is lacking, for starters.
> > >
> > > nearly all my advanced art students are nonwhite.
> > i
> > > am white. the project i am envisoning will be
> > > autobiographical. as usual, i will create a
> > sample
> > > work and incorporate my thoughts on racism. as
> > usual,
> > > we will look at a diverse group of artists whose
> > work
> > > relates to the topic. why do this? i want my
> > > students to know that this is a topic i and many
> > > others view as important and i want them to have a
> > > chance to express their experiences and ideas
> > > regarding race. if my students are comfortable
> > with
> > > displaying the resulting artworks, i believe they
> > > could generate discussion among other students and
> > > teachers, too.
> > >
> > > hope this adds some clarification. i was a little
> > > confused about the cautions against instilling
> > values.
> > > can you tell me more specifically what may be
> > > problematic?
> > >
> > > wendy free
> > >
> > > ---
> > > To unsubscribe go to
> > >
> >
> http://www.getty.edu/education/teacherartexchange/unsubscribe.html
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Diane
> >
> >
> > ---
> > To unsubscribe go to
> >
> http://www.getty.edu/education/teacherartexchange/unsubscribe.html
> >
>
>
> ---
> To unsubscribe go to
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>
>

--
Diane
---
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