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Re: [teacherartexchange] Abstract or concrete


From: Diane C. Gregory (dianegregory_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jul 20 2005 - 16:20:36 PDT

Interesting question Maggie,

Like Pam, I intend to have my art education classes be an integration of theory
and practice. This is my first year at Texas Woman's University, however, I
have taught Art Education for 23 years. My students at TWU are excited about
how we are integrating theory and practice in a student centered learning
environment. We work in cooperative learning groups and students seem to
understand how what they are doing in class will help them be successful
practicing teachers. I am not so confident, but then again I am a
perfectionist and want to do more to help them succeed. I guess I won't know
for sure until I have an opportunity to talk with them once they begin

I have always thought of undergraduate art education programs as places where we
begin the life long process of preparing art teachers. It is a journey and we
begin and we get as far as we can. Hopefully we get far enough along for
people to enjoy some success. I talk about a life long commitment and journey
with them and remind them we are life long partners in figuring out how best to
teach and learn. I don't have all the answers and I continue to learn. We are
works in progress. :-)

Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Director, Undergraduate & Graduate
Studies in Art Education
Texas Woman's University
Denton, TX  76204
Quoting Pam <>:
> Hi, Maggie:
> >>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?<<
> First let me say that I taught at the elementary level for 11 years and then
> spent another four as a mentor for TETAC. I know the challenges of seeing
> kids only a few moments each week or every other week or whatever. The last
> elementary where I taught had the additional challenge of being a United
> Nations sort of place with about 23 cultures and 50 plus languages at any
> given time.
> Now, let me explain how my pre-service courses are set up. I have a
> learner-centered, problem-based program wherein students identify a problem
> to solve and they solve it during the course of the semester. So, from that
> standpoint, I deal with the abstract to the concrete. In addition to this,
> there is a continual thread through the semester that requires reading and
> discussion of text.
> In my own college experience I found too much theory and not enough
> practical application. My students get a balance. I expect them to
> demonstrate knowledge through application. Pencil/paper tests are not my
> mode of evaluating what student know. They have to demonstrate knowledge
> through application.
> To answer your question, abstract or concrete, I couldn't pick one or the
> other. My teaching is a blend. Both are important to learning and to the
> development of quality art teachers.
> Pam
> ____________________________________________________
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> ____________________________________________________
> For information about the NAU art education program:
> Pamela G. Stephens, PhD
> Northern Arizona University
> Art Education
> P.O. Box 6020
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