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otters and HS art requirements

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ejb35_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 11:13:32 PDT


I don't want to upstage the otters BUT in Brooklyn, seals have been
seen swimming in the Gowanus Canal. This stinking polluted cess pool
where it is said mob hit men used to dump their corpses was long ago
the site of the famous oyster bed that produced oysters a foot long
(t'was said). These were eaten cheaply on NYC street corners and
shipped in barrels to Europe. In the last few years a major effort
has been made to clean the canal, and while it is far from pristine
we have indeed had seal sightings this spring and summer.

The visual arts requirement, if I understand properly, in some
instances can be replaced by anything from home economics to
crafts...as long as it can be called an "art."

It seems to me that (while I agree that some nonthreatening
introduction should happen) doesn't this "any art will do" attitude
weaken our purpose and the entire notion that all students should be
required to take visual arts courses? Doesn't "any old art will do"
marginalize visual art (again). If any of "the arts" can be
considered art, are we loosing an opportunity to differentiate the
skills our students learn from those (equally valuable) skills that
others teach? I cringe when I hear "Oh yes, we have the arts in our
school," only to find out it is just music, or just drama, and that
the speaker thinks that's the same thing as visual art as far as
student learning and skill building is concerned. Please everyone,
weigh in...

Nice to be in an air conditioned library today! Jane in Brooklyn

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