I have pondered Craig's questions for several weeks and I have come up with my
teaching philosopy. Thanks Craig, for teasing my brain this Summer!
I began by getting heavily into Art History again. The common thread I saw
from prehistoric art to latter 20th Century is "The search to convey meaning".
What we consider facinating Paleolithic art was,to them, deeply meaningful
In contrast, I studied the Naturalists of the present contemporary scene and
wondered why they would create something that may just be temporary or washed
away with time.
Their 'meaning" was a revolt against art for investment so they made nature
to be sure their art would not be a commercial venture. Through the
centuries, artists wanted to say something and be understood. In other words,
they stood for something.
Therefore, in our teaching, we must preserve this very essence of art. The
product must be of the essence of the creator of it. It's success should not
be according to "preconceived artistic standards" but instead if it has
meaning to the student and do I understand its meaning. This is especially
true in the lower grades.
However, when we get into the Secondary level where technical skill is an
important part of the curriculum, then the understanding of the elements and
principles can be evaluated by how well they are selected and utilized to
portray the meaning.
I think it is our responsibility to guide the children by teaching that art
"speaks' and to give them these tools to speak through their art ....just as
the English teacher gives them pencils, paper and sentence structure to
I sure hope I made myself clear. At any rate, this revelation has me really
fired up. Yowee! Hope it's catching.