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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
wduncan (wduncan)
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 18:14:33 -0500

> "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.

Thanks for your patience, Woody


This E-mail message is from Artist/Teacher Woody Duncan Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas to see my beautiful grandkids Tim, Tess and Tiff click on to see my students working in the RMSartSTUDIO click on to contact me via E-mail click on wduncan better yet visit my Web Site at