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Lesson Plans


student deadlines and time demands

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
EILEEN PRINCE (eprinc1)
Tue, 25 Jun 1996 17:08:35 -0500 (CDT)


Mark Alexander (as usual) raises a very interesting point in the last
digest. He asks how we can reconcile the arbitrary time demands of art
class (grading periods, class time, etc.) with the sometime sporadic nature
of artistic "inspiration". I, too, find this a problem and I frequently
discuss it with my students. I think once again we are dealing with one of
those questions of "balance" and teacher discretion. There is a difference
between a student who is truly struggling with the creative process and one
who is just lazy. I explain to the sincere student who is "stuck" that art
class is an artificial environment, more closely akin, as Mark said, to a
commission deadline or commercial art situation than to an artist simply
working in his/her studio. How many of us can simply "turn on" creativity -
or even enthusiasm - for a particular hour each day? So sometimes I tell the
student to just relax and do something else for a while. However, I also
explain that artists should work regularly, even if they are not "on a
roll". As was discussed in an earlier exchange, artists' works are not
always "successful" and many pieces may need to be produced before one
exhibits the quality the artist is seeking. It is preferable to be working
even if the effort is not totally successful - perhaps the process will lead
to another idea which is better. Thus, while sincerity of effort is a major
factor in my grading considerations, I won't let even a great student get
away with too much unproductive class time. It is a very difficult problem,
and I think how a teacher handles it depends on how well he/she knows the
student. It seems to me the important thing is to be aware of the dilemma
and not make unreasonable demands upon pupils. Just another one of those
wonderful questions with no definitive answer which keep us on our toes!

Eileen Prince
Sycamore School