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Re: [teacherartexchange] WSJ Article


From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 01 2010 - 10:00:43 PDT

I agree!

On Jul 1, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Barbara Marder wrote:

> Wow this topic has really got the wheels rolling.
> Funny about being liberal-I live in one of the most liberal
> communities in the USA, and my school is about 6 blocks from
> Harvard Square (Cambridge, MA) and that is SO liberal it is
> sometimes dubbed "The Peoples Republic" of Cambridge.
> I am liberal minded. I devoted an entire term this past school year
> with my 6th graders focusing on the art of Nam June Paik. I even
> took the entire 6th grade to view a sculptural installation of his
> work. It was Nam June Paik who had the view that painting was dead,
> and that was close to 40 years ago. The 6th graders did not agree
> (interesting they embraced painting as very much alive), but they
> did love Nam June Paik and the art-making that came out of the unit
> was a video project. Of course I structured the unit so that the
> students would be engaged in creating something tangible (the
> video) and that they would also come away with some enduring
> understandings.
> Perhaps it was Marcel Duchamp who taunted us to consider what art
> is when he placed his famous urinal in the gallery show.
> But all this discussion brings me around to considering what the
> curriculum limits, if any, should be in my urban K-8 public school.
> An 8th grader, who sometimes has a surly attitude across the board,
> came into my classroom, began a drawing, tore it up, crumbled the
> remains and dumped it into the trash before I could intervene. Now
> you have no work to hand in for me, I said. Okay well here it is he
> said as he retrieved the crumbled mass from the trash.
> In a softer voice I suggested he try again and if he became
> frustrated, we could discuss what he was drawing before he
> destroyed it. The work that had been destroyed was not conceptual
> art-it was a failed attempt (at least in that student's eyes) that
> might have lead to a real problem with behavior had I continued to
> make an issue of it.
> In my experience with the age and population of my students,
> guidelines are needed and wanted and expectations need to
> identified clearly and concisely.
> Not making art is not an option.
> Expressions about social issues from the art room some how need to
> involve art. That is where I (sorry for the pun) draw the line.
> Barbara from Boston
> On Jul 1, 2010, at 11:23 AM, Woody Duncan wrote:
>> I am quite liberal - and the definition of being liberal is to be
>> open minded - so I assume I
>> was indoctrinating them in my small way - as opposed to the social
>> studies teacher down
>> the hall who exposed his students to real "news casts" by Pat
>> Robertson so his students
>> would get the correct view of the world.
>> I'm glad that you pointed out that learning skills and techniques
>> is necessary and not
>> separate from what one decides to use those skills for. We need
>> artists who can think
>> as well as produce well crafted objects.
>> Woody
>> On Jul 1, 2010, at 8:37 AM, Gayle Parent wrote:
>>> Well, first, I think I would have to say that I see no more
>>> divisiveness among art teachers than any other teachers, having
>>> been both. I just think we all have a position (or perspective)
>>> on all sorts of things, and that's normal and healthy.
>>> Personally, I love what you said Woody, about teaching students
>>> to be open-minded and accepting. Word for word I agree with
>>> you. But I also like Barb's ideas about art and what should be
>>> required of the students, and I don't see them as mutually
>>> exclusive, unless I have misunderstood Barb.
>>> I'm assuming also that "indoctrinating" the students with your
>>> leftist views was humor, based on the belief that everyone should
>>> be open-minded and accepting.
>>> Gayle
>> Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
>> Join me as a friend on facebook:
>> Read My 2010 July Blog:
>> Read My 2010 June Blog:
>> 35 Quality Middle School Art Lessons
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