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Lesson Plans

Re: status of art education

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D. (dg09)
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 20:26:56 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Lily and all at ArtsednetTalk:

What a sad story you tell about not getting a computer in the art
classroom. I know we all get tired of the battle, but here we go again.
Principals and decision makers need to understand that art literacy is an
important component of computer literacy. We need to educate people about
this. Sadly when some principals think about art, they don't associate it
with computer assisted design. They probably think about arts and crafts
and it is easy to understand why they don't see the connection if that is
what they are thinking. We do have an uphill battle on our hands, but I
think the business industry will be on our side this time. They know more
than anyone that a web site or a cd-rom needs to be designed by someone who
has design skills. We must get these two groups talking to each other
about this.

Just the other day, someone from the English department at my university
made an appointment with me to help them "design" their web page. It is
beginning to sink in. Imagine someone from an academic department seeking
out an artist?

I am not suggesting that we totally sell ourselves out to Media Literacy,
but I think we must begin now to make the case that art teachers who have
been well educated in the use of technology would make great Media Literacy
teachers and that Media Literacy curriculum needs to center around the art
skills that art teachers provide in the curriculum. I don't know if there
will be certification for Media Literacy, but art teachers would be a
natural for this and I think they could do it very creatively. I have
heard of a Media Literacy universitiy program, I believe in Colorado. Does
anyone know about this?

My idea about using technology to make art, centers around the idea of
using technology as part of the art making process. For example, when you
want to do a lesson on collage, consider using the scanner as part of the
collage making process. Have fourth grade students go on a scavenger hunt
for natural and humanmade objects that they can lay on the screen of the
scanner. Have them arrange their objects on the scanner to make a
self-portrait collage. Scan the objects and bring the collage portrait
into the computer. Import the scan file into a computer graphics software
file created with either Claris Works or Dabbler. Manipulate the image
further by cutting and pasting, duplicating some objects and rearranging
some parts. Also, use the drawing and painting tools to add additional
details. Print the image out using a color printer and consider drawing on
the computer collage some more with traditional materials such as oil
pastels, markers or crayons. Rescan the image, if you want to further
manipulate the image and then print it out one more time. Print it out on
t-shirt transfer paper and then iron it on your favorite T. (Wearable Art?)

This kind of method uses the computer as part of the process and not as a
stand alone. This procedure allows the student to move in and out of the
real world to the mediated world of the computer. Students can get the
best of both worlds and greatly expand their opportunities for personal
expression. This process, seems to me, to partially address, the needs of
many people to be able to actually manipulate real materials. I have been
using this process in my elementary art methods class this summer and it
seems to bridge the gap between the technological world and the real art

I would be interested in the group's reactions to this idea.



At 4:38 PM 07/13/1997, Clair/Lily Kerns wrote:
>I>Instead of being alarmed by media literacy, this may be a great
>>for art education (if it really got behind the technology movement) to
>>ensure for itself a place in the curriculum.
>You bet! With the quality of graphics programs now available, with the new
>graphic capabilities of the Net, with multi-media breaking new ground, Art
>Education ought to be at the heart of things. It can be a rocky road,
>however, and will take some aggressive education of a lot of other people
>to accomplish. Our kids are getting computer literacy, let give them some
>art literacy in the process.
>This story tells it too well: An art teacher (K-!2, I think) told me a
>while back, that when their school got their computers, labs, etc, they
>scheduled individual training sessions for all the teachers--all except
>her. When she complained, they said that when they had the janitors
>trained, maybe they could work her in! When I talked to my own principal
>about a computer in the art room, she looked at me and said "I wouldn't
>count on it." She was right.
>Lily Kerns CWKerns

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)