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RE: Is art education dead?


From: Esa Tipton (tmtartseducation_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 04 2002 - 07:15:01 PDT

--- "Lawrence A. Parker" <> wrote:
> *** 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.

If we answer what "is" art, then what "is not" art
will also be debated. I personally think it begs the
question of what's at stake. The very nature of the
paradigm shift we are discussing is that "we" no
longer need to define "what" to 'teach" "kids". "We"
need to let "kids" help define "what" they need to

What I find to be a paradigm shift in the field not
just of arts education but of education and learning
in general, is that the elements that we expect to
teach, what and how and when, don't fit into any neat
package anymore. The kids, the core, the
interrelationships as Lar identifies which are our
ingredients for the great art feast. They used to be
fixed variables and now we know nothing is fixed, not
even our jobs.

Our field has done alot of work already in the area of
defining a CORE and we will all agree more or less to
the same kind of elements and principles that answer
'what is Art'and Why Is It Important. We will each
teach these P&E's according to our own skills,
experience, background, the structure of our teaching
and learning situations,and the nature of our
environments in which we teach, the kids, the
neighborhood, the school system, the socio-economy,
the area of the country, the property tax base, etc.

It seems to me that we can't discuss the value and
importance of new developments by putting them into
the old model. I don't agree that the Core of Art is
at stake here. I believe that more problematic is
rethinking or envisioning structural delivery and the
addiction to predetermined outcomes. There is anxiety
and fear about loss whenever change is present.

I think Mintrop stated it well that we can't expect
kids to grow up intelligent if their world is
unintelligable. We can't expect kids to live in the
present of their future world if they don't have the
tools and skill sets to redefine their core, their
knowledge, to reinvent themselves as is necessary,
according to the ever-changing colossus of their
environment. That implies that we must also be willing
to do the same....

Is there a defined need for new models? Yes. Are there
models to try? Yes. Are we willing to try them?.....

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