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artist / teacher

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From: Pam Wellington (loveart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 05:43:46 PST


This thread has been very interesting to read. I am astonished by some of
the replies. I have been an artist for over 25 years. I have been a
teacher of art for 7. I teach high school art. If I was not a dedicated
artist in my own right, they would eat me alive. If I could not draw and
paint and sculpt well, they would know it in a heartbeat, and I would
immediately lose their respect. Aren't we all the same? Can't we smell a
phony who is trying to teach us what they know without the personal
experience to give what they are saying any credibility?
I think what is wrong (one of the things, and one of the major things) wrong
with art education is it is being taught by too many non-artists who only
know art on a superficial intellectual level, instead of a hands on,
personal level. HOw can you teach what you cannot do? IT plays right into
the cliche of what the world says about teachers: those who can't do teach.
I recieved me MFA in painting at Maryland Institute. Dr. Karen Carroll, who
is an international speaker and expert on art education, built a masters
program for art educators, where art teachers could persue their MFA, devote
every summer for 4 years to studio art, and recieve their MFA, with their
being art teachers only incidental. She has committed her work to producing
a large bank of art educators who are committed to their personal art
making, in order to improve the quality and level of art education
nation-wide. If I offend anyone with this opinion, forgive me, but it is
meant to get those of you who do not make art a reason to pursue it in order
to improve your teaching. I have known many art teachers from both camps,
and without exception, the committed artists were the best art teachers, by
far..no comparison.
Pam Wellington
Boiling Springs High School.

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