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Lesson Plans

Re: DBAE ?'s long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 08:43:14 EST

In a message dated 12/1/98 2:58:51 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> 3) What Pro's or Con's do you see with a DBAE approach to art
> education?
> I also have student teachers who come in with strict guidelines for DBAE
lessons that > are totally lacking in practicality. Some times I feel
that the DBAE hard core
> academics are totally out of touch with real classroom situations
> I think it's excellent to learn a vocabulary to use when looking at,
> thinking about or talking about art. But I also know how much Art History
> and aesthetic scanning can happen before 30 first graders demand to know
> what were going to do today. You can only get by with saying "were just
> looking today", so many times

Hooray for you! I believe in the DBAE but not as a hard-core replacement
for production as our primary goal. Kids find DBAE dry. They want to DO art.
DBAE may be more applicable to secondary education or colleges. Personally, I
have found younger kids want to create. Art history and critique have to be
cleverly woven into the lesson while production takes place or they lose

Yes, I believe children and adults have become art illiterate. Critique,
vocabulary and art history background are needed to understand art but I find
the DBAE is mainly in the academic left-brain arena and right-brain
production is the minor thrust. It may satisfy the art history major but the
practicing artist needs more freedom to create.

Yes, critical thinking skills have to be applied to both aesthetics and the
production. As a professional exhibiting artist as well as art teacher, I can
tell you that creativity comes from somewhere within. It just "feels" right
when a work is done. I don't go over and analyze it with a fine tooth comb
but I DO critique my work according to basic principles of design. Do I have
balance, unity, alternation, variation, dominance, etc.? Does it communicate
what I am saying? Am I creating it just for my self-expression or to tell
others something I care deeply about?

I'd hate to see art reduced to academia like science or math. Van Gogh would
turn over in his grave. Art is about DOING. We need a balanced curriculum of
aesthetics, history and creative exploration. The word "production" makes the
creative process sound like a stoic, matter-of fact, zombie-like, after-the-
fact process. It is anything but that.

Sorry, DBAEers, I don't want to rattle your cage. I only ask for BALANCE. We
can study architecture "till the cows come home but creating is what art it
is about! Students need to experience and do architecture to internalize it.

Enough said. Whew! Don't hate me guys. I wouldn't be without this Listserv.
Your help and thoughts mean a lot to me and I respect you for all your views.