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Concerning the three inquiries (2 from Alberta) posted in ArtsEdnet DIGEST #91,
here's some quick responses. Although the E-mail format might make these
answers seem blunt, I hope that in some small way they help you to become
thoughtful and effective art teachers - which is, I'm sure, your professor's
Alberta, concerning multicultural perspectives, we need to teach this viewpoint
because WE are multicultural. I grew up in Chicago and learned "traditional"
European art history, then found myself teaching art on an Indian Reservation.
The Navajo have a wonderful, rich artistic tradition: wouldn't it be silly to
tell these students that the European way the only way? Nevertheless, the
coherent, connected history of European and Mediterranean art influences our
commercial and fine art practices so much that it is important and needs to be
presented as such.
Concerning DBAE, one of the early negative reactions was the seeming division of
DBAE into 4 categories into which art production was given a mere quarter of the
time on task in an art class, but this concern seems to have been addressed by a
more flexible approach as the years have progressed. Nevertheless, the
perception of DBAE inflexibility still lingers: witness some of the dialog on
ArtsEdnet about DBAE vocabulary and structure (I've seen at least two
conversations since subscribing). Personally, I prefer a studio approach for a
variety of reasons, not the least of which are the overall needs of MY students
in the context of the rest of their public school education. You should note
that I am not a student of DBAE, but a DBAE outline is something I've adapted,
Jane, I believe I answer your question about curriculum approaches in my
response to Alberta, but your instructor left out one approach: The Eclectic
approach. Most art teachers I know take a little of this and a little of that
and create their own unique way of teaching art - it's one of the nice perks of
the job, not being locked into a textbook format or a strict, predetermined
curriculum. It is also one of our dilemas when seeking professional respect and
one of the reasons for developing models such as DBAE - but I believe the
solution is a national guideline, not a national curriculum. Such a guideline
has indeed been developed.
Have fun -