> I see a number of lesson plans which culminate in a student painting
> like some other dead artist. Why is this valued?
A couple of things: the artists were not at all dead when they painted
their pictures but usually at the height of their creative powers, thus
students can learn much from studying their works by copying. Poets
too--one great exercise for young poets is to have them copy out a piece
from a poet they admire by hand. And when you think about the larger
picture in education, isn't this how everything is learned?
PS Enjoyed the clever wording of your question!