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I would like to respond to the following statement you made:
>How is it that all the visual and performing
>arts require skill training but one - Art Education?
It is obvious from your last several posts that you are very passionate
about your ideas in regards to skill building as it relates specifically to
drawing. I am interested in knowing what has inspired your passion and I
suspect others might be as well. Would you be willing to share your story?
Also, I am wondering why you are feeling that the profession of Art
Education has failed to provide skill training? I do not feel that way
myself. I think there is an appropriate balance between ideas and skills.
What experiences, research or ideas do you have that validates your
concern? Could it be that this has been your experience and that your
experiences do not necessarily represent the experiences of others?
Are you not overstating your views when you say that Art Education is the
only one of the Arts that does not require skill training? Also, what
kinds of responsibilities do art learners have when they are in a
learning/teaching situation? Could it be that the nature of artistic
learners prevents them from focusing on details in favor of more global or
philosophical ideas? When students want to learn something, could it not
be the responsibility of the learner to communicate that to the teacher?
Also, if I want to really know something, I find a way to learn it. Is
this option not available to everyone? Perhaps art people fail to take
responsibility for their own lives and seek to blame others for their
failings or inabilities? I find myself falling into that trap sometimes.
Something worth thinking about. Why are so many willing to assign blame
onto others and be critical of our profession? We have become defensive
when there is no need to be defensive and we are fighting among ourselves.
Also, who are you talking about when you use the term Art Education? Are
you talking about art teachers K-12? or art teachers in universities or art
education professors (people who, like myself, try to help others learn how
to be good art teachers)?
I am trying to understand your concerns but I am feeling you may be
exaggerating the problem. I think we have greater problems than this and I
would like to discuss other issues, such as Why does Art and Art Education
appear to us to have such a low status? What can we do about it in our own
professional lives on Monday, July 14, 1997? This drawing issue is
interesting, but unless you are saying we have so little status because we
don't teach people how to draw realistically, I would like to turn our
discussions on something that is more than just a matter of opinion.
Specifically, what can we do in the here and now to improve our relations
with our colleagues and what can we do to improve our status in this
That's all for now.
Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Art Education
Department of Art and Design
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas 78666
dg09 (university e-mail in San Marcos)
dianegregory (home e-mail in Austin)