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Lesson Plans


What´s worth teaching in art?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Rosa Juliusdottir (rojul)
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 12:16:27 -0500


Hi everyone.
After my long walk in the woods(yes we have woods) this morning, wet and
cold weather made me think of Craig and wish they had that weather in
Florida so I decided to put in my little bit to answer Craig', s questions.
A very good idea by the way Craig. And there have been so many good answers
and in many I found thoughts just like mine.
Most of my work is with children from the age 4 to 12, but I also teach a
course in the painting department and some courses in art education.

I think that one of the most important things I can do for my students is
to nurture their creativity, that they all have in abundance when young but
gets lost along the way growing up if not taken care of or like the italian
pedagog Malaguzzi said:"children have a hundred languages and we take away
99". We can agree that we must teach our students to create meaning but
then they have to have creativity. Another vital thing is to teach them how
to "see", not just to look but to "see" and perceive. To "see" and
perceive the world around them and then "translate it into the shape
pattern available on the pictorial surface or in a sculpture
medium"(Rudolph Arnheim). Then we come to techniques and factual knowledge.
It is important in my estimation to teach technique and facts in the arts
as in other fields of study, but it has to be taught with great sensitivity
and at the right time(something the art teacher must sense).
I also believe you cannot teach art without braiding together the four
threads of DBAE, art history, aestethics, criticism and art production. As
someone on this list said that "he wanted his students to have respect for
art history as a record of creativity and the human spirit"(it was Bob
Fromme), I think art cannot be taught without art history and that includes
ALL art, from different cultures, your local artists etc. etc.
So how do I determine what to teach in my classroom? I have made a
curriculum that includes these things and I teach so that there is a
continum and a constant build-up.
I think I have pretty much said what I believe is important, as well as I
can say it in few words. Of course the new media must not be forgotten but
you need creativity and perception there as well, and certainly the
technique.
Just for the last thought I want to tell that the foundation study(one
year) in our art school is built pretty much on the Bauhaus theory and I
think it works very well.
Well enough for now. Best regards from the far north, Rosa