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Re: a fear/relinquishing electives


From: Donald Arcement (arcement_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jun 27 2003 - 11:38:19 PDT

Re: a fear/relinquishing electivesMary Ann, as usual, you have stated our case so very well! There is so much more to the arts than what the average American citizen sees or knows. What ever happened to giving our children a well-rounded culture? My mother was well-educated and in the 50's, 60's and 70's it seemed to be the "right thing to do" when a parent exposed his/her children to the arts. How did we lose this appreciation? When did it die? What created it's death? Is it just politics, or is it our worship of the "Almighty Dollar"? I'd like to hear our artistic audiences view of these questions. What happened? Tell us all what you think has happened to our current society and then maybe we can work towards a solution as art instructors.

Thanks for reading,

Idus in southern Mississippi (about an hour from New Orleans)
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: MAK ~ MaryAnn Kohl
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 11:19 AM
  Subject: Re: a fear/relinquishing electives

    Relinquishing electives.
    This scares me.
    These highschool years are our last opportunity to offer "jewels" to a student on the brink of adulthood...when they may or may not take the opportunity to be exposed to these things again. Maybe that art class will open a window to feelings or ideas for someone. The music class may calm a worried heart or inspire a waning spirit. Okay, Okay, I know I'm idealistic. But it's our responsibility to offer what we can. Life has many many years after highschool for kids to get into the job market. This is our chance....and THEIRS....for more. It's called "EDUCATION".

    And how did the arts become "elective" anyway. Did you know in China the school programs are divided into thirds... one third is physical education, one third is academic education (science, math, history, language), and one third is art education (music, dance, theater, visual arts, etc.) This culture recognizes the importance of a balanced education and a feeding the spirit of the student as well as the brain. I've always felt the USA was a little unbalanced in how it looks at the arts, and at physical education, for that matter. Physical education is not SPORTS and winning or losing, it is LEARNING and training the body.

    Well, enough soap box.

    But skipping electives is like, hmmm, what is it like? Like a walk in the woods without seeing the trees.

    educational consultant and art book author


    MaryAnn Kohl
    PO Box 31338

  Bellingham, WA 98228

    360 398 9801 office
    360 398 0450 home

         360 383 0001 fax