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Re: [teacherartexchange] College level/public school dichotomy


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 19 2007 - 15:24:50 PDT

On Jun 19, 2007, at 2:07 PM, Diane Gregory wrote:
> As for me, I would like to do my part by asking K-12
> art teachers the following question: What should be
> taught in the elementary and secondary art methods
> classes? What kinds of activities should be conducted
> to help future art teachers be better prepared to
> teach K-12 art? What kinds of reforms should be
> implemented in K-12 art teacher preparation programs?

Since I'm gong through the interviewing process and seeing what I'm
offered to choose from this is what I have to say.

I much prefer to see someone who went through a fine arts program
first and then went for the certification through a masters program.
The applicants that I see who only go through art ed programs seem to
have limited skills and little knowledge of art history. I see way
too many portfolios with work that is less accomplished than my high
school students. I think maybe it's time we divided the
certification--- elementary and high school.

I think DBAE and standards has hurt more than helped. What has been
lost is future teacher understanding of the artistic behavior and
process. I see way way too many of the same old lessons rehashed and
see way too little of fostering critical thinking and problem
solving. I see way too little understanding of why artists have made
certain decisions and how we bring that context to our current
students. I see way too much emphasis on a few artists and disregard
for the deviants. I want to see lessons that understand the
deviation, not an "aping" of the style.
The standard that I see least regarded is the one that says students
will apply knowledge to inform their own personal expression through
application of symbols and motifs. That is hard stuff to teach and
that is where I think we fail to give the emerging teachers the
experiences and avenues to coney just what artistic intent is.

> What kinds of activities should be conducted
> to help future art teachers be better prepared to
> teach K-12 art?

Put them through the AP Studio Art portfolio process. Make them
develop a Concentration and a Breadth of skills and be able to
verbalize an intention.
Make them study art history intensely not just superficially. We
have Graduation projects for high school students in order to get a
diploma. I think every art ed student should do an intensive study in
one area that includes research, writing, visuals and presentation --
about some topic in art, not teacher methods.

Technology is a MUST.

I guess, I have to say, that what makes me a good teacher and what I
look for in future teachers is curiosity . Where do ideas come
from?????????? and how do you take those little notions of ideas kids
have and turn them into big questions? The nurturing of future
artists is little about techniques and skills-- that comes after you
establish that an idea can go far. The best thing an art teacher
can offer is recognizing the need to/ for expression and then fitting
that expression to a technique. Technique is the easy part, firing up
the interest is hard.
What fired up the great artists? why did they make the changes or
why did they stay true to their passions. This is what we need to
teach ---your passion is most important.

I'm tired and fed up
and I don't want to see one more "mimic" lesson.
I want to see how you ask the questions that make them think, because
we all complain about how they don't think, and it's our job to make
them think.

Teach your college students how to think and question so they
bring that to ones that need to value the significance of artistic


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