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Re: [teacherartexchange] College level/public school dichotomy


From: Ann Heineman (aiheineman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 21:08:47 PDT

Hi Patty,
        No need to apologize. I was just adding fuel for thought to this
great discussion. It sure has brought out passionate viewpoints! I
admire you and Diane for thinking about art education training in
your respective positions as collegiate education professionals. I
have a few further thoughts:
1. Collaboration. Between college departments. Students take classes
with students in other departments. Really mix it up! The
Renaissance with the Italian, Math Departments, etc.
2. Liberal Arts. Students have a wide variety of courses in
sciences, arts, history, geography, language arts, foreign language
and linguistics, psychology, math, human development. Be able to
attend classes with pre-law, pre-med students, for example, and vice
versa. Students are all general education--no one knows you are a
dog (in reference to that great cartoon depicting a dog at the
computer--the punch line is "On the Internet nobody knows you are a
3. Lots of "clinical" experience--or in doc talk "Rounds." Do you
think a medical student earning an M.D. knows everything about medicine?
But they are expected to cover, and pass, all the basics in medical
school so they know where their specific interests may be. But they
still get that M.D.! (But I wonder if they have to tolerate those
"methods courses" imposed on the education student.) Likewise, after
thorough training in college course work and in the school "clinics,"
a teacher who has passed muster in the art and skill of imparting
wisdom to children and adults of all ages deserves a K-12
certificate. Specialization can come with extra training and
4. I wonder if we, as members of the professional field of
education, are the only ones who face criticism from within and
without about our career preparation and certification. Maybe we
should ask folks in other professions how they deal with this. I
think Colleges of Education should be held to the same high standards
as those for other professional post graduate programs, like
medicine, law, engineering, architecture.

> 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.
> Patty
> 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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