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Lesson Plans

reply to Diane's posting

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 22:45:50 -0700

Hi, Diane

You bring up some interesting perspectives on questioning the need for
drawing skills in the overall scheme of things. It made me pause and
rethink my posture here. However....I can only respond with what I have
seen and worked with over the years...straight from experience and
definitely "not be the book".

You wrote....(snip)
>Developmentally, I find that adolescents find comfort and assurance in
>being able to draw realistically, perhaps too much comfort...

Yes....but it takes alot of "discomfort" getting there and more so for some
who lack confidence....and, what's wrong with comfort? Wouldn't I be more
apted to try something different if I had acquired a comfort level with my

(snip)If we satisfy
>this need, how can we simultaneously encourage them to be inventive,
>expressive and open to the possibility that there may be equally valid ways
>to perceive the world and to make art?.....

Let's try this another way....How can I "invent" if I'm not familiar with
what's already "been"? Aren't inventions either happy accidents or maybe
coming from something that has already existed and I am now re-defining or
changing completely?

(snip) Or, is it developmentally
>impossible to help students see and understand the abstract expressionist
>view or post-modern view, given their predisposition to realism that seems
>to be inate?

"Impossible" is a B-I-G word. Having the advantage of knowing how something
really looks makes it easier to see the grand leap the artist has made in
abstraction and easier to see how he has done it. At least, that makes
perfect sense to me as a teacher of the impossible.

>I am reminded that Piaget himself believed that some
>individuals never arrive to the stage of formal operations and therefore
>may be unable to understand or appreciate a more conceptual view of art.

Maybe, but then I think a good teacher could offer a clearer vista for most
individuals. Without one I think the possibilities are much slimmer.

>Or, can experience with looking at abstract and expressive forms of art and
>art making help them to begin to understand this perspective and to perhaps
>experiment leaving realism behind as a need of adolescence?

I don't think it's "either-or"...I feel both is necessary. But....I also
don't think realism is a need of only adolescence. I know friends who are
my ancient age who would love to learn how to draw realistically. (I've
tried...they say they're too old to learn new tricks....this is not just
the cry of the middle schoolers and adolescence!)

Interesting and stimulating to throw these ideas back and forth. I'm
thoroughly enjoying this! Cya..............

Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
Danville, California 94526