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a typical student question

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From: Aust ArtClasses (austart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 27 2001 - 11:11:04 PDT


Why do I need to take art, I am not going to be an artist, it will not
help me in the future.

 I have this question asked several times a year, especially at first when
students realize they are going to be doing something in this class. My
response is usually this:

Not everyone will come out of this class knowing how to draw, paint,
sculpt, etc. or even enjoy any of these. What all students will learn
hopefully from this class is how to solve problems using High Order
Thinking Skills. Learning how to think through a problem and solve it
whether they are using creative skill, science skills, math skills, or
communication skills. We are also going to expose students to observe
their environment around them.

At this point I usually have students create a map of their route from
their house to the school, to include landmarks that are important to
themselves, family, and community. Then they are given three days to
adjust the maps on a second sheet. I tell them that as the semester is
completed, I do travel some of the maps. I am fortunate to live in a town
which this would not be difficult. This begins the thinking process.
Some students really get into observing things. Some find things they
never realized was there.

How do you answer your students, any comments? Should I be adding to
this response? I know we all get this question. In my district, Fine
Arts is required to graduate, no matter what plan you are on, minimum,
reccommended, or distinquish.

Jackie Aust
Bryan High Art Teacher/District Art Coordinator
Bryan Texas
austart@bryanisd.org
jab1997@bryanisd.org

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