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Lesson Plans

Re: Criticism

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Alexander (mamjam)
Sat, 6 Dec 1997 18:04:11 -0500

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Dear ArtsEdNetters,

I have not been following the 'computers in the art room' strand, but I am
very interested in a solution to the problem of extreme critisim here on
the ArtsEdNet list. I have entered the fray on this issue a few times in
the last two years.

While I feel it is important for everyone to feel free to express our
opinions here on the ArtsEdNet list , I have also felt things have gotten
out of hand when the criticisms are directed towards other people, rather
than being directed towards their ideas and opinions. As everyone knows,
there is a fine line here between positive criticism of a person's idea and
attacking the person with the idea. I feel as teachers we all should know
how important and variable that line is.

I encourage everyone to continue to share their comments, but lets just be
very careful of the feelings of everyone else who has been so generous to
share their ideas with us. I think the Golden Rule should apply, as it
usually does!

Thanks to all who have heard me out, and thanks to all for all your past
and future contributions to the ArtsEdNet list. I know my program and my
life has been improved by this valuable resource. Lets keep it growing.


At 4:45 PM 12/6/97, Peggy Woolsey wrote:
>Thank you for this Beth. Thinking long and hard about the use of computers
>in the art room has been difficult with the racing pace of technology all
>around. I've encountered too much to absorb in some situations and too
>little to work with in others.
> I also appreciate your comments about critiquing. Since the issue
>came up, I've felt a bit backed into the other corner, that is, that we
>mustn't say something that might make someone feel uncomfortable. If I read
>something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I won;t comment because so many
>people seem to feel that this site should remain free of this kind of
>criticism. I guess I can more or less relate to this as it is important for
>people to feel safe to "speak." And things may get a little too intense as
>in the last totem pole discussion which I had alot to do with but which
>seemed to end in a strange way. The funny thing seems to me that I am so
>concerned what people whom I've never met and will probably never meet,
>think about me and what I have to say! I really hope we are having
>similiarly intense discussions with our colleagues and friends in realtime!
>>In response to the many thoughts and comments on using computers in art rooms,
>>I would like to add the following:
>>Introducing students to computers and the Internet is obviously an important
>>activity since this tool is becoming such an integral part of our lives, both
>>personally and professionally. I do believe, however, that we should consider
>>using the computer as a tool in education to provide and enable students to
>>create experiences and opportunities for which ONLY the computer can do, or
>>can do best. Julian's dissertation research and project is an example of
>>this, as it would be virtually impossible to create the world-wide
>>conversation and galleries without the use of computer technology and the
>>Internet (and it's good to see you're FINISHED, Julian! Congrats!).
>>At the same time, let's remember that the computer is not the end all answer
>>to education. And if we as educators do not make certain that we use this
>>tool appropriately and successfully, it could become an abused toy.
>>For example, should students use the Internet for research? Sure. But I
>>think just as we have always asked students to use multiple types of sources
>>to verify or challenge information, so must we require students to use other
>>sources besides the Internet. And regarding art-making with the computer, I
>>think it is important again to consider what the computer can do best in this
>>area... Another example: compare and contrast creating a painting and a
>>montage. What materials do we typically use for each? How do these translate
>>into the computer? Does the use of the computer truly enable us to create
>>with these "media" better, or is it just another way to do it?
>>Finally, it also seems critical for us to discuss the problematic issues with
>>computers, as well as its many benefits. If we can paint on a computer,
>>should we give up the "real" materials altogether? Yes it's great that we can
>>email, but what happens (and is happening) to social skills? Yes it's
>>wonderful that we can do all of our banking from our home computer, but what
>>happens when our computer crashes (because inevitably it will)? Are we able
>>to function without it?
>>Finally, I would like to say that I offer these thoughts for us to think
>>about. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, and I hope those of you do
>>or do not will engage in a healthy discussion from your points of view and
>>experiences. I am concerned about the comments regarding "crtitqueing"
>>others' ideas; if we as a profession do not consider the current implications
>>of our actions, or stop evolving, challenging, and changing art education's
>>discourses and practices, then the profession will not grow. As a
>>professional and graduate student I am aware of the "pains" associated with
>>being challenged. However, I am also aware that these challenges are to
>>enable me to better question and formulate--and understand!-- the theories and
>>practices which I utilize.
>>I have been a member of ArtsEdNet for approx. 18 months. If we can discuss
>>what to do with broken crayons, pinhole cameras, or nude works of art in the
>>art museum, it is my opinion that we should certainly also discuss the
>>implications of our actions, both professionally and critically.
>>Elizabeth B. Reese
>>Doctoral Candidate
>>The Pennsylvania State University

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