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Lesson Plans


Re: Democracy, art, schools and gangs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
EVasso
Mon, 2 Jun 1997 19:14:38 -0400 (EDT)


Bob,

Thank you for your response:

<<Perhaps democracy was not the best choice of words for the natural outcome
of effective human relations which your decribed when you said, "learning is
about teachers and students constructing and reconstructing knowledge
together." This is a given and speaks of basic respect for each other in
the learning process.. You speak of a process which can be found distributed
through the gamet of learning environments. It has little to do with
democracy.>>

I don't agree. I do not believe that the notion of an (art) curriculum which
arises from students and teachers constructing and reconstructing knowledge
together is either "natural" or "can be found distributed..."

You yourself described a different kind of classroom: "..but please don't
suggest," you said, "that the quality of art instruction and
the educational expectations that I have for each of my students should be
eroded or compromised..."

I compromise over educational expectations all the time. I make compromises
with administration, with students who come from abusive homes, students who
struggle with concepts or skills, with parents who make unfair demands or who
aren't demanding enough, who are too protective of their kids or not
protective enough. I make compromises over where I was planning to take the
class,conceptually, because a child came up with something else, maybe a
place more interesting to them, or to me. I negotiate, give a little, demand
a little, work, push, retreat and sometimes advance. And, dictionary
definitions not withstanding, that is a part of democracy. Teacher as
gatekeeper is not.

And with henry's story in mind, I'll just keep on chewing on this bone. I
ain't pissin' on it.

-Fred
Chicago