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Lesson Plans


Re: Thinking, was "imagine" or "fantasize" (pretty darn long!)


From: Daceballos
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 10:39:32 PDT

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    Hi EJB in NY:
        You ask some deep questions and ones that are not easily answered. But
    very interesting and thought provoking ones, indeed. What is the task of Art
    Education in the task of constructing a world and for students, constructing
    a self? Also; What kinds of reflection and art making or observing should we
    encourage?
        I teach high school art on the Introductory level in a rural but changing
    small town. A lot of my students are what you might call (without sounding
    elitist), culturally illiterate. They have not heard of Franz Marc, whom you
    mentioned, or even Van Gogh, for that matter. One of my missions is to
    present great artists of the past to students, inspire them and make them
    aware of the possibilities. I have also often seen my task as increasing
    their mathematical/spatial skills and verbal/conceptual skills. That is, so
    many students today are really deficient readers and poor at math. As you
    know, they're often placed in art classes to increase their chances of
    graduating. Sometimes we'll do projects where there is a lot of measuring and
    use of protractors and compasses, based on Islamic Art. It still surprises me
    how many high school students cannot read a ruler. In other assignments, I'll
    have them write about the idea that they're trying to express in their piece.
        I'd really like to get students to be more expressive in their art work,
    that is, to express their feelings more. Teenagers are incredibly creative.
    They take more of an interest in work that pertains to themselves, a personal
    expression. In this sense, I've had students work on expressive line drawings
    where they compose a drawing using line and value to express five emotions or
    feelings (love, fear, sadness, etc.). They choose. I usually get some great,
    very detailed drawings that look like abstract B/W paintings. But, I'm still
    working on getting students to express themselves more, constructing a self,
    like you say.
    Dennis in Stockton, CA

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