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Lesson Plans

Re: Social Studies, Art, & CELEBRATING PLURALISM

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carla harwitt (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 22:33:26 -0800 (PST)

Regarding your point #2, Graeme, I teacher History of Art and believe it
is an equal blending of the disciplines of art and social studies, with
some math, language, etc. thrown in. -Carla

On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, Graeme Chalmers wrote:

> I have been following the discussion that began with Elizabeth's question
> about social studies, art, and the California missions. I want to go back
> to Elizabeth's original question. There seem to be several issues involved:
> 1. Can art be a social study? Yes, definitely! Art MUST be a social
> study. All art is socially constructed. We cheat kids if we never let them
> ask "What is art for?" The answers are not "purely" aesthetic. There's
> more on this in CELEBRATING PLURALISM <>
> 2. I agree that art shouldn't be a "hand-maid" to social studies -- merely
> used to illustrate social studies projects, (e.g. copy illustrations of the
> missions) but some relationship is possible. Take Elizabeth's topic of
> "missions" for example. Students could look at the "missionising" function
> of images across cultures (including especially those advertising images in
> popular culture that are designed to "convert" us and to establish a
> product's presence and identity).
> 3. That's all very well you might say, but what about MAKING art? Well,
> Elizabeth might start by having students look at the architectural style and
> symbolism of the Spanish missions. Whose values are represented and why.
> Perhaps they could then meet with an architect (AIA has a group interested
> in education) who would talk about "style" and "image" in the buildings that
> they design. Students could then move on to design buildings that "display"
> their own values and beliefs.
> Graeme
> Graeme Chalmers
> Graduate Adviser
> Department of Curriculum Studies
> University of British Columbia
> Vancouver, B.C.
> Canada V6T 1Z4
> Tel: 604 822-4842
> Fax: 604 822-9366