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Re: Is art education dead?

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From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 11 2002 - 02:02:41 PDT


--- Patricia Knott <pknott@enter.net> wrote:
> This has to start from day one. I don't know how to
> suddenly, at the upper levels, to expect student
> responsibility, when they have gone through a
> system that has coddled, cajoled, hand- fed, and
> cow-towed to a fear of a law suit.
>
Even before the fear of law suits, I think self-
responsibility for students was a big problem in
education. How are students supposed to take
responsibilty when the teacher tells them to open the
text to page 92, and the bell tells then when they are
done?

And what's worse, is that it really can be done from
day one. They can be self directed and they can be
responsible. My students have workplans and are held
accountable for a certain amount of work each day and
for each week. Our kindergartners make choices for
themselves about what they would like to do, and when.

I think, from what I 've seen and vaguely recall, that
art class is slightly different than regular classes,
in the sense that you have a due date for a project
and there is some flexibility for students - they
don't all have to be on the same page or wait for
someone else to finish.

IEPs terrify me. Last year I got a student who was
floundering in public school - I had been teaching her
for awhile and she had made marked improvement with
hands on material. I also think she enjoyed becoming
responsible and making choices for herself. When I
finally got a report from her previous school that
included documentation of her IEPs. Seems that they
were so concerned with her behavior problems, they
neglected the fact that there were prolems with the
methods they were using to teach her.

I also question the training and motivation of the
few people I've met that are involved in making the
IEPs (I forgot their title.)

There are a few other things I've seen regarding the
fear of lawsuits and the unbelievable amount of money
that is dedicated to certain individuals in public
education, but won't go into it because it's probably
unethical even though I'm not a public school employee
yet, just a taxpayer in disbelief...

I guess that the best thing to do is focus on what you
can do.

And join a listserve for moral support maybe?

Dawn

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