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Re: technique vs. expression

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JEMILTD_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 06:40:32 PST


I have read with interest the input on this subject. I wanted to interject
an important point that I learned from students. Both were talented in the
arts; their experiences where at the high school level. The biggest problem
they had with the art teachers was that their teachers did not seem to
understand the boundaries between teaching technique and their own personal
style of art. They did not allow for self-expression and in fact if any was
shown the students were penalized for it. In my opinion, there is a certain
point in the process of teaching the arts at which the teacher is there to
plant the seeds of technique so that the self-expression of the student can
blossom and burst forth in all directions. The point of teaching technique is
to give a student the tools to communicate their creativity. When a teacher
tries to control self expression in a talented artist in order to create
"clones of the self" or to control the talent of a student -- or in some
extreme cases to kill the creative spirit of a student because of the
seduction of power that a teacher holds -- he or she stops being a teacher
and becomes something else. Both of these students made choices as a direct
result of these experiences. One stopped creating altogether, the other
chose to fight for self-expression and tune out the criticisms of her
teacher. Students have enough to deal with just getting through another day,
art class should be the one place where creative communication is nurtured.
Any thoughts on this?

jemi

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