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Linda...The letter you were RESPONDING to indicates that things haven't
changed much in 25-30 years or so except that now they use Macs for
resourcing instead of the libraries. It's the same old- same
old...resourcing lesson plans and giving the lessons to their peers in a
sterilized arena. It's EXACTLY what I had in my university years in the
late 60's. Never mind teaching it to kids, discovering discipline problems,
learning how to talk to, communicate body language to, and listen to kids
while teaching. That's more important than everything else put together.
Why can't more professors get a handle on that idea? Perhaps that's the way
they were taught? I dunno.
I'm pleased that you had such a good experience with your art methods and
that, from your description, it was so well done. And....yes, it IS a pity
that this is not the norm. I couldn't agree with you more. I'm afraid,
though, that things will not change much in another 25-30 years unless we
as a group clamor and raise a rukus about what's NOT happenin' in the
college classroom in teaching.
I am also excited to say one of our members, after our discussions, decided
to take a sabbatical from his professorship and go back into the classroom
for a spell. I think that is an excellent choice for any professor of art
methods to do. And I'm not talking about "observation"...I'm talking about
"real" teaching...actually getting up in front of a class of 35 8th graders
all by yourself and giving a lesson for 45 minutes. That'll give you a clue
to if you're a "real" teacher or not. The "resourcing" is just the icing on
Now...I'm not so insensitive as to realize that one can forget quickly what
actual classroom experience is like when not there all the time. Gosh, I
forget sometimes just in the span of two months in the summer....then fall
rolls around and I have to get into my "teaching mode mindframe" again.
That's why I think it is extremely important for professors to actually
"teach" (not "observe") a class full of little tykes for at least two weeks
a year all by themselves. You can't teach a university class well without
full, recent knowledge of what's actually happening in a school classroom.
If you do, it's bogus/not real. Teaching 21 yr. olds is NOT the same as
teaching 13 yr. olds or 6 yr. olds.
Aaaaah. I'm probably still beating a dead horse here but if we can remind a
few souls that there is a difference, maybe my tirade is not in vain. I'm
sure there are hundreds of us out here who would welcome a professor back
into our classrooms. Toodles........
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526