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Re: [teacherartexchange] College level/public school dichotomy


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 14:56:12 PDT

I'm sorry Ann
my intention was never to suggest that elementary is inferior ---
God, never.
I believe that elementary is just as you say
>> There is nothing inferior about a basement that is is built on
>> good solid ground. It is a "calling" and deserves respect and
>> admiration for the great teachers who dedicate their lives to
>> working with the wee ones, under the most insane conditions.

I understand fully that in many places art teachers must travel
between all grade levels, either because of size of districts or size
of budgets. I think the K-12 certification is based on old notions
-- and that old notion is that the art teacher is not a real teacher
and that all the phys ed teacher does is throw out the ball. We have
real standards now to be met. I think it is very hard in a 4 year
program to achieve the content to meet those standards at all levels.
Art teachers are expected to teach everything because the cert is
K-12. The core subjects are not K-12 certified. Shouldn't we expect
the same kind of attention to the needs at grade levels?
High school programs are becoming more and more specialized. I have
elementary teachers terrified that I will call them up to teach a
photo course.

Am I wrong to think most of us know which level we really want to
teach to? which age we best relate to? I know many accept positions
they really don't feel most comfortable with just to have job? I want
those that want to be elementary to be that and be the best at that
and the same for high school.

I have only admiration for those that take on the little ones and I
know plenty of art teachers that take on this awesome task.

Guess it goes both ways Ann, because I know a lot of elementary
teachers that think we have it easy in high school.

The suggestion was not that anybody is any better on any level. The
suggestion was to make the choice of level the best it can be without
spreading content too thinly. I just went through a massive AP
Studio Art course syllabus audit. The rumor I'm hearing is that
maybe, sometime in the future, the AP board will require that anyone
teaching an AP course must have a Masters in the content area. How
many art teachers have MFA's?

I think it it unreasonable to expect, that because you are certified
K-12 you can do anything in art. How many times do we hear from
people on this list that are suddenly told they have to teach
something and they have to scramble to figure it out???

No offense was ever intended. I only want to make art in the public
schools respected for what it is and that every one who devotes to
the art program be the best and not have to deal with these issues
of judging.


On Jun 19, 2007, at 7:52 PM, Ann Heineman wrote:

>> I think maybe it's time we divided the certification---
>> elementary and high school.
> Why? And where do you put in middle/junior high? (On any given
> day they can change from age 4 to 30 and back. ) Won't this
> separation make art teachers with elementary certification be
> further profiled as "inferior?" I spent 35 awesome years teaching
> at the elementary level, K-6, and I often wished I could scream at
> administrators, university professors, state education department
> know-it-alls and colleagues (UP at the secondary) who referred to
> the elementary level as "DOWN." And as an elementary art teacher
> I was reminded of the fact that I was not a REAL teacher. Take
> that BFA, MFA, PhD and BEFORE anyone gets a K-12 certificate, the
> applicant has to teach kindergarten and primary grades art for at
> least 3 years! There is nothing inferior about a basement that is
> is built on good solid ground. It is a "calling" and deserves
> respect and admiration for the great teachers who dedicate their
> lives to working with the wee ones, under the most insane
> conditions. And yes, I did produce, and still can, a body of work
> in my field of printmaking. So my life as an educator was not
> spent as a "cut and paste loser." I did not "end up" as an
> elementary school art teacher because I was too stupid to be a
> secondary art teacher. I chose that level, and I would do it
> again, despite all the arrogant crap that gets hurled at teachers
> who are in elementary schools.
> Ann-on-y-mouse in Columbus
> Art teacher, K-5, retired
> PS I was a cooperating teacher to over 30 student teachers from
> OSU. The experience was very rewarding for me and my students, and
> I had opportunities to work with the art education department
> professors in formulating courses that were meaningful to future
> teachers and teachers
> out in the field.
> ---
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