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Re: [teacherartexchange] Creativity In Art Assignments

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From: david gran (dsgran_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 14:11:21 PDT


My question would be to ask what value is in making
art-products that have a predestination. If a
student's input doesn't go beyond color-choice, what
does that suggest to the student about the process of
art-making in general? In other words, when we teach
children, I think we can agree that fostering a sense
individual expression is a significant goal. To me,
creating something that is "pretty" is less so -
especially if the student is learning that art is
about putting things together instead of making
different kinds of aesthetic choices.

The issue of multiculturalism in art education is a
different animal, and I don't think that a good sense
of it can necessarily be accomplished by simply making
different holiday projects. For example, I don't
think making menorahs will really teach students
anything about Judiasm. Multiculturalism, to me, is
more about learning about different cultures (and
specifically for our profession through art).

--- Darren High <darren_high@yahoo.com> wrote:

> A lot of the art lessons I have read online are
> assembly line type projects that require a specific
> subject matter created in a specific way.
>
> I kind of like the project involving making fish out
> of plastic 2 liter bottles, but I think there are
> enough varieties and colors of fish that the all of
> the projects would look different. It's not the
> same
> as everone making shamrocks or Santa Claus in the
> same
> way.
>
> I'm not sure about the idea of making projects
> related
> to specific religions in art. I think one could
> argue
> that if you don't belong to that religion then it is
> a
> multicultural project, but there would be a need to
> represent a variety of religions and cultures
> throughout the year and not just Christian holidays.
>
> Would St. Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day be
> considered Christian holidays since both are named
> for
> Christian saints?
>
>
> --- david gran <dsgran@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > That lesson seems doubly flawed to me - aside from
> > the
> > whole 'assembly line art' that you mention,
> there's
> > also the whole issue of using the art classroom to
> > make holiday art which can be both trivializing to
> > artmaking in general, and marginalizing to
> students
> > who aren't christian. When I was in elementary
> > school, I remember having to make 'paper bag
> > santas',
> > another assembly-line-holiday project. Doing that
> > project made me feel really awkward and
> > uncomfortable,
> > and I was too shy to tell the teacher that I was
> > Jewish.
> >
> > --- Darren High <darren_high@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > > "In defense of the rabbit lesson.... If the
> > > objective
> > > is for students
> > > to draw a rabbit from life - from the rabbit
> that
> > > was
> > > brought into the
> > > classroom - then the results will all be a
> rabbit.
> > > Or
> > > if the objective
> > > was to draw a fish from life - the students will
> > all
> > > draw the fish.
> > > Before you are too critical of lessons you find
> > > online, you might want
> > > to consider what the objective may have been?"
> > >
> > > The lesson I mentioned about rabbits was
> something
> > I
> > > observed in an actual classroom. It was
> designed
> > to
> > > tie into Easter and had all the students making
> > > rabbit
> > > faces out of paper plates and pre-cut
> construction
> > > paper. Naturally all of the projects looked
> > > virtually
> > > identical. The classroom was more like a third
> > > world
> > > sweatshop for holiday decorations than an actual
> > > public school art classroom which is was
> suppossed
> > > to
> > > be.
> > >
> > > I think the teacher could done an Easter themed
> > > assignment involving cutting and pasting and
> still
> > > allow the students some creativity.
> > >
> > > Of course, all of the assignments from this
> > teacher
> > > was along the same lines. All the projects were
> > > linked to holidays and they all generally looked
> > the
> > > same whether they were creating Easter bunnies,
> > > shamrocks, snowmen, hearts, or whatever. The
> only
> > > skills she seemed to teach was cutting, pasting,
> > and
> > > coloring (including a lot of coloring of
> > preprinted
> > > images).
> > >
> > > The art classes were K-4, but that's still no
> > reason
> > > for such restrictive lessons.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
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