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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Scott Walters (
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 15:51:19 +0000

>I agree that a rich background in art history, aesthetics, and design could be
>a strong foundation for great teaching in those areas. I too, in college had
>incredible classes art history classes taught by art historians. But, the
>outstanding studio courses that I have had were taught by "artists" who
>happened to be gifted teachers as well.

I have seen this argument made repeatedly -- that artists are the best
teachers of art. I'm not certain this is as true as it seems. The ability
to explain, guide, nurture, and critique the works of students is not the
same skill as being able to imagine and create. Many artists (and this is
actually too bad) haven't the faintest idea how to explain what they do --
they just do it, and perhaps do it brilliantly. To equate the creative and
the teaching mind, however, is a fallacy -- and very often, I would rather
be taught by a teacher with the skills of a teacher and an aesthetic eye
than be taught by an artist with the skills of an artist but the inability
to explain. "Those who do, do and those who can't, teach" is one of the
most offensive phrases abroad in the world today, and the insistence that
artists should be the only ones who teach art is part of that unfounded

Scott Walters

College of Fine Arts
Illinois State University
Normal IL 61790