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Re: Teaching art in a Catholic school - long post

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Amenay2_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 05:23:48 PDT


Some diocese have course guides and expectations for the goals and objectives
of the curriculum (Ask about it.). Some are very strict while others allow
appropriate freedom of expression. I have found few differences between
public and private at my school...take the uniforms off and the kids are the
same...parents too. I have had a couple discussions with my principal about
freedom of expression...so far I have had sound arguments to defend my
position (which she respects). Art is a form of free expression (freedom of
speech etc) and to deny this denies my fundamental principles and beliefs in
freedom of expression as an art educator and artist (I do not believe in PC).
 When asked what would I do if I was told to censor works of art...I said
that I would stand my ground...basically meaning that I would resign or be
fired defending this liberty. I do, however, inform the students (and the
principal) that though the students may express themselves freely in the
classroom within the guidelines of decency (obscenity, vulgarity, etc. are a
not allowed under any circumstances) I will exercise the right to display or
enter in competition any given work representing the school based upon the
guidelines and position of the institution regarding certain issues. They
are always welcome to enter their works independently but without the
sanctioning of the school. Not all of our students are Catholic nor
Christian therefore I have to repect their forms and ideas of expression. I
do however guide them through a thought process to make them discerning
between fad trends and true personal expression. Our system is embarking on
a greater catholicity program (part of our accreditation/self study program)
which means I will probably be incorportating more units of study that
reflect the goals of our study regarding catholicity...no problem. Art
history is rich with lessons directly revolving around teachings of the
catholic church and/or studies which can be supportive of the church issues
without using direct catholic teachings. Certainly a creative challenge for
me to develop the lesson plans that accomplish these goals without
compromising my position on expression. No problem...just a lot of work. By
the way...I'm not catholic and I do love my job.

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