Jayne, On censorship:
I teach art in a "middle school" with students that range in ages 11-15.
All societies restrict the content that children this age are exposed
they should. In our "free" society the range of what is appropriate at these
ages differs greatly depending upon whom you speak to.
#1. Do you believe that art instructors should censor art material
shown in the classroom?
A- Of course I censor. Every time I make a decision about what to teach,
and what to use to teach it with I am deciding to exclude something by the
very fact that I made a decision. It is not a question of "should" I censor,
because I do it every time I make a decision.
#2 Should they state that certain ideas, themes and images are not
acceptable in the classroom?
A- "They" (Me the teacher), I teach young adolesences who are testing their
allowed boundaries daily. Yes I set boundaries, limits, values and
such. I prefer to say
that I provide expectations (goals) that I want them to reach for. Also
impose "my values" on my students. I don't allow disrespect of me or others.
I tell them that I would like to think that I could teach them to love
each other, but I am not totally naive so I will settle for "a good
For example I do not allow the word "nigger" in my classroom. That is censorship.
#3 Should famous works of 'nude'
people be presented at all, and if, when?
A- At times I have had nude images in the classroom, but Michelangelo's
the Sistine chapel may not be what you mean. If we are going on a field
we might encounter nudes, I try to discuss the topic first to allay any concerns.
But most of all to get the issue out in front and prevent snickers later.
#4 What about images that show topics like violence, war, or other
A- I do control the topics/subjects covered in my art class. Probably,
than I should if I wish to promote individuality, and self expression.
I try to ease
up and give older students more freedom to make choices. I am an old
and if we use images of "violence and war" it is to show the horror of
Kathe Kollwitz might have done.
#5 Does your school district have a set policy on what is
allowable, or do you as instructors decide?
A- I don't know if they do, I'll check on it. On second thought,
often it's better not to ask. I'll just use common sense, which I heard
is dead now.
I hope this helps, Woody in KC
-- I'm from Kansas, where evolution is outlawed and the monkeys are in charge of the schools To respond to me privately via E-mail click on wduncan put Hey Woody on the subject line so I'll read it first You are welcome to visit my Web Site at http://www.taospaint.com This E-mail message is from Artist/Teacher Woody Duncan Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas the new URL for school is http://kancrn.kckps.k12.ks.us/rosedale to see the newest photos of my beautiful grandkids Tim, Tess and Tiff click on http://www.taospaint.com/SlideShow.html to see a virtual field trip of KC go to http://taospaint.com/VirtualTour.html to see Rosedale's best go to http://www.taospaint.com/BestArtist.html to visit our community garden go to http://www.taospaint.com/garden.html
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