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Lesson Plans

Re: Looking for encouragement

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 7 Feb 1998 17:41:59 EST

I am currently student teaching, so let me offer a few words of encouragement.
The students I am working with really respect and appreciate art, and their
instructor. I think what happens is that so much attention is placed on 'core
curriculum' that art gets relegated to the sidelines as an 'easy' subject. I
suppose you know this, though, and are wondering why I am redefining this. I
used to live with two guys who were science people. One is an aerospace
engineer working for the US gov't, the other is a chemical engineer. They
always thought art was easy until I had them try my assignments. They quickly
came to realize that art takes as much (if not more) thought and study as do
the 'regular' curriculum offerings. Think about it-you need to know
chemistry, physics, math, english, and history to understand and produce art.
Do the instructors in those areas know as much? Some people might scoff.
They usually have had a bad art experience that put them ill at ease. Ask the
question "who can draw?" and how many will answer affirmatively. So, getting
to the point of encouragement. Some people don't know art, and think that
only a specialist can judge it. This may be true, to some extent. To help
people understand art is part of an art educators job. I think people
appreciate and like art, but the media pushes the 'core curriculum' so much
that we as art educators feel the cutting of the budget. I believe many polls
have been done to indicate this. People value an arts education, but when
they rank art, it comes at the bottom of the list. So, we must find ways to
elevate art. It includes all of the core disciplines, and we just have to
become salespeople as well. I don't know if other istructors don't respect
art teachers. I simply respect someone as a professional unless they prove
otherwise. I just think that other people (teachers, parents, administrators)
feel uncomfortable judging art, and by default, art instructors. Keep the
hopes high! The school I am in, the district I am in, loves art, their
teachers (in general) and shows it. There are shows of student works, both at
the state and district level, and the community really appreciates this. I
don't think this just happened overnight. It took a lot of dedication on the
parts of all of the art teachers. I really hope this helps. Jason Lund