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Lesson Plans

Re: artsednet-digest V2 #35

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 16:34:22 -0800

I agree with you on your points as well, Kit. I did a double take on San D's message
yesterday but I found San D's message today much better. I see both sides of the coin.
I especially agree with the idea of exciting the kids about art and trying to maintain
their sense of magic. I also agree with your point about seeing the importance of
the arts in all areas of our lives. The discipline of philosophy also has a similar
problem. Most students don't see the need or the value of its study outside of a stuffy
classroom talking about ancient theories. Philosophy and its study - just like the
Arts - is very important and it actually infiltrates all areas of our thinking.


On Sun, 19 Jan 1997, (Kit Eakle) wrote:
>I find myself having to respond to San D's response to Elizabeth Paul.
>I have great difficulty in the rationale expressed that a specialist is
>required as "art teacher" at the elementary level. It seems to me that
>elementary teachers are generally NOT specialists in Mathematics, English,
>Social Studies OR Art OR Music OR Drama, or anything else. They are in
>fact"generalists." This , of course chanfges at the secondary level, where
>specialists are essential.
>Bu tat the elementary level, it is essential that we not set a model for
>kids that the arts are something that can only be taught by "specialists"
>who hold some magical awareness or "talent" that others can't have. That
>only encourages the idea that only the "specially talented" have any use
>for the arts and establishes arts more firmly in others minds as an
>"elective" for those with talent.
>Surely we believe that the arts are a part of anyone's and everyone's
>education NOT an elective. In that spirit, it seems to me that it is
>essential that the "generalist" have at least some education and knowledge
>of the arts.
>It therefore seems to me that any teacher who takes it upon themselves to
>be better prepared in this endeavor, should be encouraged to learn and
>teach as much as possible through and about the arts. Indeed to demonstrate
>the relationship of the arts to other subject areas also encourages the
>notion of the essential role of the arts in all education
>This is not to say that there is no role for someone in with an art
>specialty in the elementary school, quite the contrary. It only means that
>art specialists at this level see themselves as educators first, and should
>have some awareness of how the arts relate to the other subject areas as
>well. To divorce the arts from other core subjects is to denegrate the
>essential role of the art in all learning.
>We do need art specialists who can demonstrate to their elementary peers
>how essential we are to children's learning. Indeed I have seen art
>specialists who can design a total elementary program effectively around
>art, encorporating all the math, science, language arts and social studies
>a young student needs. But surely elementary art specialists must also
>encourage their "non-expert" colleagues to achieve a better level of
>understanding about what the arts are and how they can enrich their
>teaching as well.
>This is a fight that must be fought in education faculties everywhere. All
>teachers need the same level of training in the arts as they do in math or
>language arts. But that is another story. In the context of this list, I
>would hope we would encourage all generalist teachers to belong and ask
>questions, in order that they may gain the awareness and knowledge they all
>too often do not receive in their university training.
>Let us stand up for the arts, to be sure. But the arts are essential for
>all. So let's educate all. And as experts in the elementary schools, let's
>share our knowledge with all, making sure they understand its basics. Let's
>not reserve it as something which no one else is able to possess.
>If we truely share the power of art, no one will be able to justify
>"pumpkins" as having anything to do with anything as basic - and essential
>- as art.
>Kit Eakle
>>From: Elizabeth Paul <epaul>
>>Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 01:04:55 -0600
>>Subject: California Missions
>>Hi, all--
>>I will be starting to student-teach in a 4th grade class in Feb (general
>>ed). I will be starting with language arts and then adding on social
>>studies, and would like some ideas that incorporate art education. The
>>topic in social studies at the time I will start teaching is California
>>missions. Does any one have recommendations of particularly good resources
>>and/or activities? I'm looking for things that incorporate not only studio
>>activities but the whole gambit -- aesthetics, criticism, and history.
>>Any suggestions would be very welcomed! Thanks --
>>Elizabeth Paul
>>Hi Elizabeth:
>> Here's my question to you, are you going to be certified in art
>>education? The reason I am asking is; when we start to "incorporate"
>>art education into other areas, we justify to boards of education that
>>they do not "need" to hire an art educator. While I am all for team
>>teaching, sharing with collegues, etc., I am the expert in my field, and
>>am treated as such. If you are training to be an art teacher, it is my
>>opinion, that you must keep reinforcing the need for an art educator at
>>that school. I know that you are in a position of student teaching only,
>>and don't have power. But you can educate those around you too, while
>>you are learning.
>> Those of us in the "electives" know that a)kids can "get by",
>>according to Boards of Education and other politicians with a "basic"
>>art "pumpkins" and b)if WE don't stand up for our
>>subject matter, who will?
>> San D
>Kit Eakle
>Program Manager
>Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
>Washington, DC