I have been reading this exchange with interest. Pam and Diane, I view
your role as challengers of the norm, asking us to think before we do.
That being said, I wonder how you would, if only being given 4 1/2
weeks--or 9 weeks-- with your pre-service art education students--what
would you teach? The abstract or the concrete?
While as an artist I agree that the big questions need to well up, I know
how cheated I felt in the mid-to-late 1970's, when I got my b.f.a. All
painting courses were non-objective. My drawing skills were nil, due to a
junior high/high school bias toward art as expression.
Without knowing the syntax, how can you articulate?
It's only since I've taught myself the basics, alongside my students, that
I've become proficient enough to really create. I relish my capability now.
P&E's,can be really really cardboardish in the hands of instructors who
present and evaluate via "checklists." But how else to evaluate?
(Envision, Diane, a parent-teacher conference regarding big ideas. Argh.)
Love the thinking.
>time my students reach middle school they have a firm understanding of these
>concepts and I then focus my middle school students on experimenting with
>mediums and beginning to allow them more choices in their own art making. My
>high school students are then encouraged to focus on their own interests
>within the assignments. I think that if you don't give the students a
>foundation on which to build they will forever struggle. I