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Lesson Plans

RE: Discipline Based Art Education?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
D Sterner (dsterner)
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 18:49:44 -0500

Around 1985, the Getty Center called for an evaluation of the quality and
status of art education and a stategy for reform. This put art education
issues on the nation's policy agenda and opened the current curricula to
potential reform - suggesting something might be wrong with the way art
teachers were teaching their discipline.
It was discovered that fine examples of art curricula existed throughout
the U.S., but there was a vexing paradox: While the arts hold our nations
most valued experiences, those experiences recieved only marginal
consideration by school administrations.
(Consider who comes first on a budget cut. In the Early '80's Buffalo
schools lost art in grades K-3 due to budget cuts)
Anyway...The Getty center for Education in the Arts focused attention on
highly successful programs already in existance whose curriculum content
included, not just the making of art, but toward understanding art.
Understanding art lies in the exploration of history, art criticism,
aesthetics as well as the production of art. The results of their research
were prescribed as a reformation of a failing curricula that surfaced as
"time off (from school) for good behavior" --(Efland, Arthur 1976. The
School Art Style: A Functional Analysis. Studies in Art Education, 17 (2),
I miss quoted the reference earlier :( Where was I???? Oh yeah......
The reform:
Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) serves as touchstone toward greater
teaching ability. It shows art teachers how to deal with the ambiguity of
the artistic process by virtue of accountability: Provide education, not
just an activity. As art teachers, we need to demonstrate that art is more
than "hand traced turkeys" and "cotton ball Santas". I am being flip, but
consider: abstract artists did not fall on their head one day and paint
wild stuff - there is history that contributed to their need to redefine
their role: PHOTOGRAPHY played a big part and kids need to understand that
- I mean that artists do things in reaction to the world around them.
DBAE divorces itself from the mind-splitting semantics of generalities.
No longer are there vaguely defined opinions in the guise of goals and
objectives - even as artists, we know it exists. The TRICK sems to be in
developing an arsenal of rhetoric (know your subject) to satisfy the status
quo and in the mean time we are questioning it (its what artists do).
In the wake of DBAE's successful implementation, art teachers get to have
their cake and eat it too. Art is education. It is about ideas, BIG
ideas. It is all of what mankind has been up to since the beginning of
time and that is not just the essence of what it is to learn about
humanity; It is the essence of what it is to be alive!
Thats my story......and I'm sticking to it!
if you are on a list respond to me directly dsterner
Don't forget to see my students

-----Original Message-----
From: L Skeen []
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 1999 5:54 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Discipline Based Art Education?

D Sterner wrote:

> read Eliot Eisner's "The school Art Style" to understand why DBAE is
important to art learning

Ook, so I'm dense maybe, but would somebody please explain exactly what
DBAE is? I've heard of it
but never heard it explained.

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