I have the rule "If you can't wear it on a t-shirt to school, then you can't
use it in your artwork". I do censor the students, which some may say
stifles their creativity, but I have found that my students will create the
same old dry tired worn out ideas if I don't stop them. I am sick to death
of reble flags, ashtrays, mushrooms, skulls (not realistic, but more
satanical), beer bottles, cigarettes, etc, etc, etc. Surprisingly, by not
allowing these items it forces students to step out of their box and explore
something new. I am getting ready to add WWF and Pokemon to my list as well!
I'm not sure my lower level students are mature enough to handle sensitive
topics appropriately - if I were to do something controversial at all, it
would be with my upper level students.
> We recently had a district wide art project that was open to
> interpretation and could allow students to express viewpoints regarding
> social issues of concern to them. Still, on the beginning art level, I had
> limit certain topics such as pro-drug (marihuana) statements or stuff
> regarding sexual innuendos. I had to give a talk about "appropriateness"
> what is acceptable on the high school level. It gets pretty dicey. Much as
> may encourage our students to be creative and express their opinions
> and openly, we have to guide them and, while not stiffle their freedom of
> expression, realize that many high schoolers are immature and view you as
> model for what is OK and acceptable. That is, they need direction from
> they need parameters, and can be creative and freely expressive within
> parameters which you have established precisely so that they won't get
> by provoking the wrath of authority figures or their peers. So, look at it
> like you're protecting them. When they get to college they can be as
> controversial as they want. But you've given them the means and the
> techniques to do so.
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