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Being an art specialist dosn't mean that I don't believe (how's that for
sentence construction?) that the strength of elementary education resides in
the fact that , historically, elementary education has been the home of the
generalist. To the degree that schools have moved away from this strength,
towards departmentalization for example, is a measure of how far they have
moved away from this strength.
This faulty dualism: generalist v specialist or art v science (as was argued
a few months ago) treats teaching and learning as something way too easily
compartmentalized. Classroom teachers are my allies. If they have
difficulties with teaching the arts, I try to help. If I'm looking for a way
to bring literature into my artroom, (and I often do) I go to them. If we
disagree about approaches, we discuss it. If we can't agree, we go on and
come back together another day.
To argue that teaching art in the regular classroom is a threat to the
employment of art teachers is really bogus. Yeh. Our employment status is
always iffy. But that comes from the much bigger issue of the degree to which
the culture values culture. But the classroom teacher bringing the arts into
their curriculum is not a problem by itself. It provides a potential basis
for joint work.
Keep it up Elizabeth.