> > > "Hand a brush to a Japanese or Chinese child and their brain shifts into > the same modality as is used for writing and language. A very different > experience for the non-asian child who is all prepared only to "make marks" > > I teach in a very multicultural setting (6-8) and we have students from > various asian cultures; Hmong, Lao. Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, > Etc. They do as a general rule perform extreamly well in the visual arts. It > is to a great extent a function of which side of the brain is in gear. To > digress, this is in large part due to the fact that the language of infancy, > childhood and the home is a "tonal" language (with rising and falling tones). > As with music the language development in "tonal" cultures resides in the > right side of the brain. Because they develop language in the same hemisphere > that is used for drawing and spacial thinking, that side of the brain becomes > dominate or at least more accessable. They may have never touched a > calligraphy brush but they think with the visual mode in gear. But I believe > it is so much more complex that just using the right brain. So many factors > are in play. If they are short on language (English) skills then they must > pay careful attention to demonstrations. Of course they come from cultures > that teach by example and by demonstration. They also are in a sink or swim > situation in our schools, we give them some help but mostly we just let them > tread water. The Arts are a safe secure place to adjust until they are ready > to branch out. These students, like most new imigrants are under a lot of > pressure (from home) to succeed. They extend a lot of effort in everything > they do. The art class sets few limits (as opposed to subjects that just > cover the curriculum) but in art they can excell. Most end up going into what > their families see as honorable professions, like Doctor, Lawyer, Etc. A > graduate (Vietnamese-american) of the Kansas City Art Institute came to show > is paintings to my students and demonstrate watercolors. He explained to me > that it was a real blow to his father that he decided to become an artist. I > do digress a lot, but it seems to me that several of us on this ArtsEdNet Talk > thing (myself included) jump at conclusions from some simple statement posted > by another.