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Hi Lar, again!
I do teach in the inner city, a middle school. I also teach in college. A
college course I teach is Problem Solving and it is really a logic course. It is
a lot of fun, and I wish I could teach a similar course to young people. You
know how students love to start a discussion, "off the subject" to disract from
the lesson at hand! I think you are right that we don't teach teachers how to
lead a productive discussion. From talking to teachers, I have come to believe
that they are worried that they won't be able to guide a discussion. They don't
like it when "things get out of control." Particularly when the subject matter
is sensitive. I recently asked a teacher how to handle a sensitive topic. "Touch
on it lightly, and then move on quickly," was the advice I received. I don't
mean that we should be running therapy sessions (a criticism I hear about a
teacher who allowed a discussion of teen pregnancy in class), but because of the
complex and difficult situations students — especially in the inner city — I
wonder what our responsibility is, as art teachers, to somehow provide a place
to process what they are constructing as their knowledge, their world, their
selves. We have them for six hours. The street has them the rest of the time.
Nothing could be more different in ethos and mores espoused than the street and
the school. Where does art education fit in? Once again, I am interested in what
you do; lessons you think would w
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