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Lesson Plans

Re: Democracy, art, schools and gangs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stenger - Judith DiSalvo (jstenger)
Tue, 3 Jun 1997 16:45:47 -0400 (EDT)

Fred, Bob, and other friends,
I suspect that we agree on more than we disagree--maybe our
differences are mostly semantic. Perhaps we teach differing age groups,
and thus have differing points of focus. Somehow, when we re worried
children still being alive tomorrow, it doesn't make a lot of sense to
countenance pictures or symbols reflecting violence and drugs. I'm not
accusing anyone of having said that's ok, I'm just saying that adults have
the responsibility to set the limits--kids' job is to try to stretch them.
We have to recognize that adolescents will always need something to
struggle against. We must draw the parameters.

On Mon, 2 Jun 1997 EVasso wrote:

> 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