I just discovered a roll of negatives that were supposed to be developed
as slides. I hate to toss them. Any ideas for projects?
Saint George's School
2929 W. Waikiki Road
Spokane, WA 99208
From: Marvin Bartel [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 12:53 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: [teacherartexchange] important concepts vs teaching for tests
Teaching for mass testing generally fails to teach the higher levels of
mind formation and thinking. Education in America is seriously
regressing unless schools teach for:
1. the ability to give multiple solutions to problems (like real life)
2. the ability to notice things that need to be noticed (needed to make
the world a better place)
3. the ability to make choices where the rules have not yet been
established and/or where rules are outdated and/or not fair (needed for
justice in the world)
4. deal intelligently with situations for which there are no clear
elements and principles (like much of life)
5. the ability to think divergently and consider opposite answers and
unique answers (like those who solve the tough problems)
6. the ability to tolerate and appreciate diversity and the significant
contributions realized when divergent points of view are brought to a
problem (needed to keep the world from destroying itself)
7. the ability to add beauty and see ugliness (to make life worth
and many other similar kinds of thinking that the tests are not now
Good art teaching can teach all of the above quite effectively.
I wish we had good tests for these kind of things, but until we do,
teaching for the tests only teaches some fairly standardized job skills,
but not the kind of thinking and life skills that are needed to live in
and sustain a free society that needs a responsible citizenry.
Preparation for skillfully working in slavery and totalitarian societies
is no longer satisfactory. According to economist, Richard Florida, at
least 30 percent of todays work force is employed in jobs that require
high levels of creativity. People are not just using prior knowledge
and skills, but they have to respond to unanticipated scenarios. All
people use creativity in their personal lives.
This is important for all levels of students. Many of the lower level
students are dropping out of high school because of all the teaching for
tests. In fact, schools have incentives to look the other way. The
schools do better on the tests when these students drop out.
Art education is better than teaching for limiting tests. Art teachers
may need to make some gestures to keep jobs in the political situations
they live in, but creative teachers can also do much more.