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First is the continual reference by these students that they "are not
creative" "have no artistic ability" or some similar statement when the
creation art work is presented. I do include their art work prodcuts along
with other assignments to determine their grade. But I have tried to
lessen their "level of concern" by including many types of assignments
(such as creating a game to teach/introduce or reinforce art concepts or
written activities) along with the art work.
It seems to me that this is some thing like the crutch I use to explain my
poor spelling abilities. I love to excuse myself by saying, I'm an
"inventive speller" or "Artist don't need to spell, they make pictures."
but the bottom line is, I do have to put some effort into spelling and
often have to use the dictionary. How off base am I? And how can I
re-direct this thinking? It is almost like the flu, when one student hears
it they catch it too.
Secondly, how much attention should be given to art work that elementary
ed major actually produce?
My evaluations (for the five of 22 who cared to comment) suggested that my
standards were too high (too professional) and they felt that any effort
should be accepted. "After all this is their form of expression" This has
me questioning my expectations. Personally, I do not feel that I expect
any more from them than say a high school freshmen level, but given the
time constraints of one semester there are gaps in their understanding
especially of design concepts. Critical concepts are covered and
demonstrated but the connections do not seem to be internalized. More time
would be one solution, but I'm afraid that isn't possible. I have had only
four production assignments in the past and this term only three. I
suppose, it could be "whiney" attitudes that I am encountering this year
(since had not felt this way in classes I taught in '93-'95)
I would really like to know, how others have dealt with these situations.
Maybe to the group, these really aren't issues, but I feel perplexed when
thinking how to go about keeping their success level high and still
maintain the level of quality work.
(quite possible for the last semester)