Bob, I particularly liked your analogy of the volcano and the lawn
chair. I can see some of our ART educators lounging, unaware, in the
lawn chairs, but I see many more of us building the fires in the
volcano!!! Change stARTS in the ARTS!!!
Over the years I have taught many students whose skills surpassed mine,
but I have never caught a hint of disrespect. I often wonder what I
have to offer these students other than encouragement, which is
important but, in my opinion, certainly not enough!
Many of my students have gone on to earn their living in the ARTS, and
have also kept in touch. They tell me that they are in stiff competition
with many who are equally gifted in the ARTS, and I ask them what I
taught them that gave them the edge in such a competitive market. Simply
put, this is it: how to approach an assignment, set up a challenge, work
through the blocks, work in collaboration with a diverse population
with many points of view, and continue debating the big questions.
In the past several years I have been working in an elementary school,
in New Jersey, that has adopted the theme, WE ARE A COMMUNITY OF
LEARNERS. I just completed an intensive at the AENJ sponsored Hands &
Minds Institute. My group worked the entire week studying aesthetics. I
am very proud of the work of the Art Educators of New Jersey and of many
of the New Jersey ARTS ed. professors who are energetically stoking the
fires of the volcano.
My husband thinks that I sound like I am blowing my own horn when I talk
about ART education. He doesnąt work in a field that is the first to
feel the cut and is often considered superfluous. He doesnąt
constantly need to prove the value of his programs. He works in a team
instead of in isolation. One day soon that will be true of the ARTS
and we wonąt have to spend so much time blowing our horns to advertise
our value. It will be understood. In the meantime hear us roar! We
need to share our BEST PRACTICES or they will die in isolation.
Thanks Craig for prodding us with your BIG QUESTIONS!
Change stARTS in the ARTS!!!