Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, Elizabeth Paul <epaul> wrote:
>Thanks for joining in. I do believe we need art specialists in elem schools,
>really I do!, but I want to play devil's advocate here for a moment drawing
>on what you wrote (and a few others before you -- I'm not trying to pick on
>you): "...we must still fight for the right of every elementary school
>student to have a "real" art teacher to teach art as a subject just like
>reading, writing, math and science..." That's a difficult argument to
>defend, I think, because in the U.S. reading, writing, math, and science are
>not taught by specialists but by very real generalists. Those are the sorts
>of arguments I would like to caution those advocating for the place of art
>specialists in the schools from using, because I find it's an easy argument
>to shoot down by those not already believing in the importance of art
>On a related note, math is very different from teaching reading which is
>very different from teaching science which is very different from teaching
>social studies/history, etc. My point being most subjects required to be
>taught by the general classroom teacher require different knowledge bases
>and different methodologies, to some extent anyway, from one another. So why
>not art? I agree whole-heartedly with you that preservice training for gen
>ed teachers in the art is sorely inadequate. In fact, I think much
>preservice training in California in general is inadequate but that's a
>whole 'nother topic.
>And I definitely support your statement that the arts need more than two
>hours a week! Much more.
>So, continuing with my devil's advocate role, over the last couple of days
>we've talked about having ideal situations (i.e., having art specialists)
>and how to get there, but here's a reality-based question for those of you
>adamant about general classroom teachers not teaching art: California has
>more or less eliminated art specialists at the elementary level, sad to say.
>But that's the reality here, and probably some other states, and it's not
>going to change in the foreseeable future in California -- at least five or
>more years, given everything else going on in educ here right now and the
>overall conservative climate. So you don't want me teaching art in my
>classroom (not me personally necessarily, I hope, but using me as the
>figurative general ed teacher) -- that means most students in California
>simply won't get any art education until, if they're lucky, middle school or
>maybe high school. And then it's probably an elective (I don't really know
>for sure) so even that is hit-or-miss. The less the arts are taught, the
>less they will be valued because it doesn't build that informed,
>That's how it looks to me. Again, I think most of us here would agree,
>ideally we should have art specialists in the elem schools. But how do you
>propose dealing with the reality that I, personally and figuratively, am
>facing as a teacher in California?
>Thanks! -- Elizabeth P.