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Lesson Plans

Curriculum Issues: Q&A

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mary Erickson (MARY.ERICKSON)
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 20:38:44 -0700

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How nice to finally be able to read your response. I'm pleased that you
took the time and I'm sorry it was expensive for you. I'll copy your
questions and then reply to each.

> - Is this an example of how to use Internet for art education?

Actually Our Place in the World is intended to be a resource for teachers,
not a resource to be used directly by students. Interestingly enough
however, David Beaman, a high school teacher in Minnesota, is using the
site directly with his students. Here's his email address in case you'd
like to ask him more specifially how he's using the resource in high
school. (

>- Does she like to hear from others how they think about her method
>of Art"?

Oh, yes, I certainly do! The curriculum resource and the curriculum issues
seminar are quite exploratory. They have already provided me with many
excellent ideas for improving the resource in the future, should I have the

> Is this material afterwards only on Internet? Will it be printed (partly)?

The Getty Education Institute contracted me to adapt a curriculum resource
that I have been working on for years so that it could be posted as a
resource on ArtsEdNet. I've learned a great deal in the process. It will
be up for at least two years, perhaps longer. I have some prospects for
printed publication of "Stories of Art," but nothing firm. One thought is
to break it into pieces: 1) just the fictional imagination stories (like
"Fee of the Meadow People") and a few interdisicplinary ideas for
elementary children and 2) just the supplementary narratives (with all the
images to accompany them) as a short middle school art history text. I'm
also considering some simplified version with all ten themes on a website.
No plans are firm at this time.

>Can American students really use Internet that long in art lessons?

Internet access varies very much from school to school and region to region
in the US. Some schools have no Internet connections at all; others have
pretty much unlimited access.
>Indeed, it took me a lot of time (and money, because here we pay a lot for
>being on-line) to find all the pages, save them and print it out. It would
>have given me a help if there was a ZIP file with all the pages. After
>printing I had problems to order the pages, because names are so many times
>different in the index and in the headings. (Painting in Caves... - Art in
>Caves...; Reflective Essay Questions... - Theme Essay Questions...)

I'm sure that it is difficult to manage a hardcopy version of the resource.
It was posted on the Internet in such a way that would allow the teacher
to click and jump to pages as they are needed. In hardcopy, of course,
there can be only one sequence. If other teachers find it handier to work
with a printed out version of the resource, it might be a good idea to
develop a table of contents to help them organize the resource into a
notebook. No such table of Contents is presently available.
>I could not find where the Internet search of the teacher ends and the
>search of the student starts (lesson 6?). Or can it all be done by students
>without Internet?

Actually, I was not assuming that students would have access to the
Internet. If you check out the resources listed at the end of each lesson
you can find a list of the essential materials required for each lesson.
It is a good idea to have reproductions of the two key artworks. They can
be printed out on a color printer or the graphic file can be copied onto a
floppy disk and taken to a copy service for a printout. Kinko's and
Alphagraphics are the names of two common copy companies in the US.
Additional URLS and order numbers of small reproductions to accompany the
supplementary narrative are listed in a section of the resource called
"Visual Resources."
>The inquiry method seems very well to fit in with the
>do-it-yourself-learning method that is in focus in The Netherlands nowadays.
>I like the idea of teaching students how to do methodically research. That
>at least was the impression the material gave me when I had all the material
>printed. The systematical method of asking questions is very good, although
>I doubt whether the students can be satisfied or sure about their own
>answers. Should a good teacher always be at hand or are we going to give
>students sheets with answers? When done fore some years in art classes,
>students will take the system home and use it in their life (we hope?)

As noted above, I was imagining that teachers would select portions of this
resource that suited their needs and adapt them to their classrooms. I'm
really looking forward to the online discussion of "Inquiry Learning" which
will begin on ArtsEdNet Talk on March 31. Shortly before that date, I plan
to post, on the Curriculum Issues Seminar Syllabus, some thoughts about how
teachers might use Our Place in the World as a starting point for online
(or offline) inquiry by students. Your questions are really important.
These are some of the challenges teachers face as they incorporate genuine
inquiry into their classroom instruction. I expect some interesting ideas
might develop in ArtsEdNet Talk discussion.
>The three groups of goals I put in the beginning. I have noticed that there
>are only two goals formulated. The goals of making art and the goal of art
>inquiry. There must be a reason that there are no more. I could use the four
>basic groups of questions (ART HISTORICAL QUESTIONS) to describe goals as
>The student can relate historical facts to the time, place and culture from
>which the artwork comes.

Our Place in the World takes a Discipline-Based Approach to curriculum,
that is it draws its content from the disciplines of Art Making, Art
History, Art Criticism, and Aesthetics. However there can be many
different kinds of Discipline-Based Art Education. Our Place in the World
does focus primarily on art making and art history with suggestions for art
criticism and aesthetics in the supplementary section. Actually, I find
the task of distinguishing the four art disciplines increasingly difficult.
I believe that an integrated approach drawing from many art (and nonart)
disciplines may be the preferable approach.

>Different from Eldon Katter I am not supporting this way of describing
>goals, but that is probably an outcome of our tradition. In The Netherlands
>we use to declare what the goal is, in terms of what the student knows or
>can or is able to. Thus: The student can make works of art and The student
>can use skills of inquiry-based approach. (or the like).

Yes, many educators do indeed have take different traditions in
articulating goals. Actually your and Katter's seem quite compatible.
Learning HOW TO DO something is another way of identifying what one expects
students CAN DO after instruction. Learning THAT something is the case is
another way of identifying what one expects students to KNOW after

>In the ART HISTORICAL QUESTIONS I should place question III D (What does the
>artwork mean to you?) at the very beginning AND at the very end. When the
>student reads his first answer after this whole methodical experience with
>the artwork he (in this country we always use his' he' etc. It is normally
>used for both genders) will be surprised and has more trust in the method,
>may even use it in the outside world!

I think your idea about beginning and ending with III D is an excellent
general principle.
>The questions from ACTIVITY ONE answered (I did my duty)
>NB These are all first thoughts
> 1 The title is about what my position is in the world,
>surrounded by
>all other people.
>2 The mural is about a young girl that is afraid of flying birds and
>in her mothers lap.
>3 I was enthousiast from the beginning and expect to find a lot of
>and theoretical stuff and hints for solving the problem how to interest
>students for art.
>4 The link INQUIRY BASED APPROACH interested me most.
>5 While it seems to have a strong relation with my own interest and
>work at
>the moment.
>6 I clicked and
>6a found that other links (Thematic approach etc) were situated on
>the same
>page. That was what I did not expect.
>6b The explanation is very compact. About what type/age of students are we

As noted above, one day "Stories of Art" MAY be available in versions
appropriate for different age levels. In this version of theme one, there
are only a few suggestions embedded here and here to guide teachers in
making adaptations for students of various ages.

for Sudents formulate questions? I see so many questions already
>formulated in ART HISTORICAL QUESTIONS. Where do I find the method to teach
>students to formulate their own questions? Should those be different from

The present resource focuses on helping students learn how to use
traditional art historical inquiry questions (four key questions with this
theme). Although, as you've probably noticed there are lots of other
questions embedded in activity descriptions within individual lessons. As
noted above, some additional ideas about inquiry learning will be posted in
the seminar syllabus prior to March 31. And I look forward to the
discussion those ideas may generate on ArtsEdNet Talk.

>6c It might offer me ideas, but as a teacher I must have my own curriculum
>and see how this fits. It is a method of learning.

I use Our Place in the World in my classes at Arizona State University in a
way similar to your method. I use the curriculum as a model and ask
pre-service teachers to plan their own units of instruction. In the US,
art instruction is sometimes delivered by trained art teachers and
sometimes by general classroom teachers (especially at the elementary
level). Traditionally art teachers have been pretty responsible for
developing their own curricula based on some general state, and school
district guidelines. Some districts do have detailed district-wide art
curricula. On the other hand, general classroom teachers are often quite
at a loss about what to teach and may be looking for very specific lesson
plans. So different teachers might use this curriculum resource in quite
different ways.

>6d There is an index at the bottom of the OPENING PAGE, (called OUR
>THE WORLD) that tells me this page was the INTRODUCTION. These different
>names are disturbing.
>Next time more (if someone is interested)

I certainly am very interested and I appreciate the time (and money!)
you've devoted to learning about Our Place in the World and responding to
the Curriculum Seminar activities.

I look forward to any continuing contributions to the Seminar that you
might care to make (on ArtsEdNet Talk or to me directly

Mary Erickson
Curriculum Seminar Leader
>At 09:35 28-02-97 -0700, you wrote:
>>How nice to hear from you. As you may already have discovered your
>>response did not translate into readable text on ArtsEdNet Talk (digest
>>#147). I certainly would love to be able to read what you wrote. I
>>personally use Microsoft Word 6.0. Is that the software you used in your
>>attachment? If you like you can try sending me your response
>>(m.erickson) and I'll see if I can copy it and get it posted on
>>ArtrsEdNet Talk.
>>I do hope I'll eventually be able to read your insights. Thanks for giving
>>the curriculum resource and seminar your attention.
>>Mary Erickson
>Attachment converted: :Ourpl-ww (TEXT/ttxt) (0000595A)
>Ben Schasfoort
>e-mail: ben.schasfoort
>Tel. and fax: (0) 597 55 15 03

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