When I used a book (my current school has a curriculum book, we don't
currently have a textbook) I usually had my students read the chapters
in the book, and do the questions for one or two days out of the week,
then the rest of the time would be working on projects based on what
that chapter was about. The resources for the book included
transparencies and worksheets on many artists, as well as supplemental
worksheets for the text reading. I would skip parts of the book that
didn't seem so important for my students, and used the book for several
grade levels, just starting at different points in the book. I was not a
slave to the book, and several times during projects, we would go a week
or more without taking them out. It also made it easy when I had a sub,
it was easy for me to say "do activity XXX from the teacher resource
binder" or have the students read chapter x and y and do the questions
I don't think you NEED a textbook to teach art, but I found it really
made me assess what I was doing, and how I could improve.
Brookings Middle School
From: Aartteachr@aol.com [mailto:Aartteachr@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 4:37 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: [teacherartexchange] Textbooks--- Longish
From Marvin Bartel:
"For many high school art classes, students might be better served if
the room has a set of standard art history texts sold for college
survey classes in place of books published as school textbooks? By
selecting an art history text that is up-to-date, well illustrated,
well written, and inclusive of cultures, styles, genders, etc. high
school students may be better prepared for life and for their
Thanks Marvin for you always-wise advice!
I believe I have a good art background as both a teacher and
professional painter. maybe I am not??? Actually I have a very
extensive classroom library with college level art history books plus
numerous technical media books, design books and an extensive visual
reference file that is used very frequently by the students (not for
copying) but for anatomical information, etc.
Students today are so techno-savvy. The weakness in my program is due a
lack of technology (my budget) as the tech department gets the goodies.
I did write a grant but so far have heard nothing. I want an LCD
projector or Smartboard, laptop, etc. for Power Point presentations of
artists as well as to have the students research images and information
on Internet resources. The school took away my internet connection to
be used for phone service elsewhere but they have wireless if I can get
it in a laptop. As always the Visual Arts Dept. is low rung which makes
me as one frustrated but good art teacher.
About textbooks for my class: Don't slay me guys, but I have not
completely loved the DBAE approach since it seems to throw us back into
left brain thinking that I want to get away from and use more time
developing the "dormant"
right brain of most of my students through artistic exploration. I like
to teach appreciation along with hands-on actual experimental
workshops, once the
student masters basic media concepts.
Ah! I am now weakening. ;o< Can I use a textbook approach to have a
systematic way for all my students to better understand how art
movements develop and why artists and how are communicators of ideas,
thoughts and personal beliefs and know where the artist was coming from.
For those of you who use art textbooks for your students HOW do you use
it ( Duh). Do you have students read out loud from it, then discuss? Do
you just leave it nearby to be available IF they want to look at it? Is
this how you introduce a unit? Do you give an assignment and then have
information individually and then open discussion?