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RE: Is art education dead?


From: Lawrence A. Parker (occti_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 04 2002 - 06:43:35 PDT

> Let's bring ideas into the discussion, not dismissals. Teresa

Whoa, Teresa, what a post! Do you need a vacation too?! JUST
(Especially since we're getting ready to leave for a (too short) week in
Canada fishing. First vacation we've had in a number of years; just too
busy. And too little money, as we sent our daughter to a class in
Hawaii a year ago, and she is leaving in a few weeks for a
People-to-People Student Ambassador program in Australia and New
Zealand. We are SO jealous!)

Anyway, rather than jumping in at any one point, since there are so
many, I'd like to re-post a question I put to the yahoo list (and will
try to follow both strands). I've read a lot of talk about different
kinds of Art (Modern, Post-Modern, Cultural, etc.), but...

*** What IS Art? ***

And, please, no textbook answers, but give me your personal definitions.
Because it seems to me that this is what we ought to be teaching the
kids. Like so many other things in this world, Art is SO expansive
(techniques, materials, History, artists, social and cultural
connections, etc.) that no one could teach all of it without losing a
lot between the cracks or making it so diluted that all value is lost.
It seems that there ought to be a "core" that is most importantly
taught. Being neither a professional artist nor an art teacher, my
suspicion is that this core lies somewhere in cultivating a personal
connection between the student and this type of expression. Then, once
the connection is made, the techniques are brought in to provide the
means, and then practice to develop the desired (by the student, teacher
and standards) skills.

Am I totally off mark here? I don't know; you tell me. But I think
personal connection and relevance is VERY important here, which also
will bring in the socio-cultural influences.


Lawrence A. Parker,
Philosopher and Educational Consultant
"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he
who dares not is a slave."
                      - Sir William Drummond, "Academical Questions"