Since I am not teaching a real high school art class, only a few grownups in
private lessons in a church, I can't say what works for 9-12. I am using
The Visual Experience, published by Davis. So far, it has a painting in the
first chapter which provides the basis for some interesting discussion.
However, it seems to me that there are some things to consider when choosing
a textbook since they are so expensive, no matter which way you look at it,
even if you order used texts from Follett. First, what is the district's
recommendation? They usually have people whose job it is to choose texts.
I would order a bunch of textbooks and start reading them myself. I prefer
to pay for them, if I have the money, although I know you can get them for
free, because they sometimes have seconds, where they didn't get the right
amount of ink on the page or it comes off on your fingers, so you can't
really give that to a child. Upside down pages, that kind of thing.
I guess there are people who think that art textbooks are boring, but I am
not one of them. I think it is very interesting to see the intersection
between, say, the California standards and the national standards. It's a
challenge to choose the lessons to satisfy the CA standards, especially
since someone stood up in the CAEA convention and said that the textbook was
not the curriculum. Obviously we are supposed to write curriculum, not
follow a book slavishly, but it sure helps to have that big old book to give
us back up and provide images to look at and analyze and write about. Oh
well, I'm starting to ramble on. You know what they say, if you're
rambling, you're not running. So you know I am not running for anything
this week, and probably never.
I wrote a little arts advocacy which is on my web site www.jeaneger.com I
don't know if it works, but I gave this little speech at Toastmasters and
subsequently the minister let me use a room in the church for art lessons,
so maybe it was effective after all.