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Re: Is art education dead?

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 11 2002 - 07:48:41 PDT


>What struck
>me about the dialogue between presenters and audience
>is the way in which europeans discuss a topic from
>sometimes simultaneously contradictory points of view.

I might be wrong, but I believe here we have referred to this way of
debating to arrive at truth as "dialetic"....where sometimes the debaters
intentionally take views they do not necessarily believe in just to see if
other unknown truths might emerge as a result.

>I prefer the multiplicity of contrariness that doesn't
> seek an answer, only to discuss varying aspects of a
> topic from diverse points of view.

always? Do you want general opinions and options presented...a particular
contrariness...when you stop on travels to ask for directions?

I would venture to say, of course not. It often depends upon the motive to
why and of what a person is seeking. Not all seeking has the luxury of ease
and contemplation. The problem is...not every person enters into the
discussion with the same degree of priority or urgency of the matter. Some
more....some less.

>>Peggy writes: " It seems to me that a point of
>>engagement is necessary in the form of a basic
>>assignment with basic expectations. Without this, some
>>kids will drift away, having little internal structure
>>to keep them involved."

>To me, the point of engagement has to originate within
>the student, and no longer from within the teacher to
>the student.

clarify then...are you suggesting students need little motivation? Their
priority hinges on this insatiable need to learn?

>Take out the chewed up little blocks of
>learning units called classes and open up learning to
>a larger self-directed process, and I think our
>classrooms and schools would look very different.

Assuming students have a particular maturer nature, and come from healthy
homes with self-identity in tact. Anyone else notice the growing sense of
cynicism and animosity students harbor? Kids that
self-mutilate/carve...kids that are more and more huffing. Suicides. You
name it....directing the pain which is clearly the fault of misguided
self-centered adults/guardians toward themselves?

I guess I just don't see the majority of youth today as possessing a healthy
self-image, nurturing healthy home environment...and hardly enough adults
that can self-direct learning much less hope young people can. Not that I
don't wish it could be so. How wonderful. And if some here have such areas
of the country they live in with such youth...how fortunate you should
understand yourself to be.

>Does
>it mean that learning wouldn't take place? Learning
>would be more the responsibility of the learner.

we call that "earning" grades....we don't give them away. Gee, I wish I had
more optimism of youth ready to take on such responsibility. Imaging such
might happen somewhere, I am admittedly envious. Enjoy it...

>I think it takes leadership within teachers,
>administrators, and school boards to initiate such
>changes.

well...we're too busy repairing an unnurturing selfish screwed up immoral
community that offers little hope to the kids. We're being asked to fix
things we shouldn't be fixing. You know?

Larry

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