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Re: [teacherartexchange] Elliot Eisner on choice


From: Diane C. Gregory (dianegregory_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 19 2005 - 16:20:33 PDT

Hi Kathy and All,

I like Eisner's statement, "So making judgments in
the absence of rules is something that the arts makes possible..." The to art
teachers is to help students know this and to help them understand the value of
this. I think the majority of students don't get this and most teachers,
including myself, find it difficult to help students identify this type of
learning in a classroom setting. I know it happens because I have been an art
student myself. How can we capture the thought process and make it visible at
the exact moment it happens so that we examine, share it and value it? How do
we help students look for this in their creative thinking process, and how do
we help them use this experience to help them improve their thinking and
learning process? I wish I had a mind tape recorder to play back student
thoughts, insights and feelings so that I could examine them for insight into
the complexities of all of this. I am afraid in our rational world, evidence
is needed to convince others that this does happen and that this has real

Every time I face a new challenging experience that is so different than
anything I have encountered before, I have to make decisions on the fly in the
best way that I can--usually without a whole lot of guidance/input from
others.I call the type of thinking that is needed is "creative, humane wisdom."



Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Director, Undergraduate & Graduate
Studies in Art Education
Texas Woman's University
Denton, TX  76204
> Today my paper mailbox contained the keynote speeches from the last
> three NAEA national conferences.  I am happy to have these.  I sat in
> the enormous audience for Elliot Eisner's speech in Boston and there
> was more than one statement that made me smile...but I took no notes.
> So here is one good nugget.
> "Gifted art teachers provide models and aims of practice that other
> fields would be wise to emulate.  What are the cognitive processes that
> the arts develop? ...One is that it helps youngsters learn how to make
> judgments in the absence of rules.  When youngsters are choosing,
> making choices, making decisions and making a painting or a sculpture
> or whatever it is they're working on, but there is no recipe that they
> have to follow in order to make those choices.  They need to engage in
> their experience, their bodily experiences, with the images in order to
> make the choices that will enhance the work.  So making judgments in
> the absence of rules is something that the arts makes possible...and
> what you see at the end is the result of the choices that they've made."
> (National Art Education Association, page 66)
> Any comments?
> kathy douglas
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