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Re: sketchbooks- what to use

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From: artappeal (artappeal_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 06:25:39 PDT


sketchbooks- what to use
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From: Patricia Knott

Patty wrote (in part)
"We need to present the sketchbook as the place for idea holding. Not an
assignment, not a grade -- a place for thinking. Give prompts for thinking,
give questions for thinking ask for the thinking process and hope for the
best.
But make it a chore? In my mind that defeats the purpose of the
sketchbook."

    I agree with Patty. When I taught high school (I teach elementary art
now), I had students keep a sketchbook/notebook for a grade and it was a
disliked chore for everyone involved (including me, because I was depressed
about the lack of effort that students put into them). On the other hand, I
had several students who kept their own sketchbooks, and these books were
real treasures. The books were personal visual and written journals. When
students shared these with me, they were sharing a piece of themselves,
opening up a dialogue with me about what they really cared about. These
books were without censorship or judgement. If I MADE the students share
the books for a GRADE, I would not have seen the personal exploration I saw
in these books. If the books had been assignments, students would have made
them according to what they thought I wanted. I say, have the students keep
notebooks for class, and ENCOURAGE them to keep sketchbooks/journals of
their own. To teach them how a sketchbook/journal might work, perhaps you
could give them a few sketchbook/journal type assignments for class. I also
like the idea of the creation of a personal blank book as the assignment,
and let the sketchbook/journal develop from there.

Leah

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