In response to several marvelously impassioned posts regarding philosophy
on this listserv, I offer two observations:
1. The relevance of artsednet to art education seems to be largely
self-regulating. Yes, there is the occasional internet hoax and cookie
recipe, but almost always both the practical and the philosophical
commentaries are art ed-related, regardless of what individuals may think
of either approach. Artsednet is a fabulous addition to our field. It has
room for all of us.
2. Although I enjoy artsednet's philosophical discussions, I understand the
anti-philosophical comments. Philosophy often seems to be taught quite
badly in teacher preparatory programs. To the beginner, it may appear dry
as a mouthful of sand and thunderously irrelevant to life in the classroom.
When well taught, on the other hand, philosophy is dynamic, engaging, and
turns out to be among the most relevant aspects of all, because later
practical decisions are made in light of it, rather than being randomly
driven by the whimsy of the moment. Perhaps we philosophers could make the
classroom relevance of our ideas clearer, and perhaps non-philosophers
could acknowledge that philosophy, when understood, may be highly useful.
Dennis E. Fehr, Ed.D.
Professor, Art Education
340 Hopkins Hall
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210