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Re: a typical student question


From: Curt James (curt_james_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 28 2001 - 07:45:12 PDT

Aust ArtClasses <>
wrote and I snipped (deleted portions
of her original letter) a bit:

> "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.
> How do you answer your students, any comments?

After my one student pronounced loudly
as well as angrily, "Art doesn't matter
anyway. It doesn't count!" I became

(I have one of his clay project discards
hanging on my wall at home, btw.
The student is full of energy and
creativity, but when asked to do something
that he'd prefer not to do he can be
*slightly* defensive.)

My answer to this question is:


"You will use your imagination and
your creative problem-solving skills
much more in life than you will ever use
Geometry or History information.

When was the last time someone stopped
you at the mall and asked you,
'Where is Thomas Jefferson buried?' or,
'Pardon me, could you please tell me
the sum of the angles of a nonagon?'?

But they might stop you outside the mall
and say, 'I locked my keys in the car.
What am I going to do now?'

Jefferson died at Monticello and will
never die anywhere else and the sum
of that nonagon's angles will always be
1260 degrees, but there are a thousand
different responses or more to
'What am I going to do now?'.

Your creativity and imagination are
two things that you will be developing
here in this classroom and are also
two things that you will use throughout
your lives.

Art does matter. Your creative spirit
and those imaginative thought processes
are important."


Yes, I know that history is important
and that geometry has real world applications,
but I'm trying to make those lights go on in my
students' heads and this works (for me).

> Should I be adding to this response?

Your response was wonderful!

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