In elementary school the classroom teacher is generally responsible for the
child's learning. Period. We generally cannot say "Oh, let the math teacher
worry about that. That's not my area." Rather, we usually have to do
anything that gets done. This is what brought me into the art field, an
awareness that my kids need an art experience and if they are going to get
one, I am going to have to bring it to them.
In high school it's a different story. Each area of study is responsible
only for it's own parameters (seen differently by different teachers, of
I think that if the other areas could have a certain measure of control
over the way that the arts were brought to their domain they *might* be
more interested. For instance, if reproductions were available for
classroom decor and/or instruction using graphic arts in the computer lab,
historical and cultural themes for social sciences, flower close-ups and
figure drawings in science, cubism or architecture in math, - I have no
idea what they would use in Enlish Lit. something surely better than the
posters they have on their walls).
However, beware, the history teacher might want a whole series of Currier
and Ives up. While a math teacher might dispise cubism.
This is just a thought coming from a naive elementary teacher so take it
for what its worth.
>Recently an ArtsEdNet user, who is a high school art teacher in California,
>sent me an email message expressing her concern about how broadening her
>art education program beyond the usual production emphasis is not always
>well received by her colleagues. Perhaps, someone else out there would
>like to offer some advice on how an art teacher can encourage her/his
>colleagues to broaden their views of the goals and content of art
>instricution in high school. Here is how I responded:
>Sometimes elementary art teachers (I understand that these are rare in
>California) sometimes have an easier time implementing a broader, more
>comprehensive approach to art learning than do high school art teachers,
>because the students come to them with fewer expectations and because art
>is often a required subject in elementary school. One way to affect
>predominantly product-oriented colleagues is to fill their classes with
>students with a broad-based expectations for art learning, based on their
>elementary and middle school experience. I realize however this is beyond
>the power of an individual high school art teacher. Sharing ideas with
>your elementary as well as high school colleagues is a good start.
>Another way to affect one's colleagues is to raise the question of meeting
>the state requirements and national visual arts standards. The national
>standards certainly are broad in their scope and so is the California
>Framework (at least the last version of that framework that I had a chance
>to look at). Many administrators are interested in supporting teachers in
>meeting state and national standards. Many administrators are also
>interested in supporting interdisciplinary learning. The broad,
>cross-cultural themes of "Stories of Art", including "Our Place in the
>World," (a curriculum resource currently posted on ArtsEdNet) can provide
>potential transfer across a number of disciplines. You might want to check
>out the interdisciplinary lesson and other extension ideas in the
>Supplementary section of the "Our Place in the World" curriculum resource.
>Perhaps a language arts, or social studies teacher would be interested in
>working on an integrated unit involving art.