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HS Art Teachers- course selections


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 04 2003 - 20:29:16 PST

Aside from the post I just sent
I'm sleepless tonight for another reason.

I got my numbers today for kids selecting courses for next year and I am
concerned. I have enough that my department is not in jeopardy BUT I
have hundreds in Crafts, Ceramics and Photo, but so few in the Fine Arts
sequence that probably at least one of the classes will not get Board
approval to run.

I have a sequential fine arts sequence that goes form Foundations to Fine
Arts I,II, III, Advanced art then AP. It's been the trend in the last couple
of years that the Ceramics and Crafts are growing.(due to a .5 credit
requirement) Photo has always been very strong. Out of of a school of over
2000 kids only 9 elected Fine Arts III next year. An informal polling of
the students tells me that they think the art classes are too hard, too much
work--it's easier to get credit in Food Prep.

My question is
Is this me and my district or is this some kind of general trend?
I've got to say, that since the Standards have been introduced, I have fewer
and fewer kids wanting to pursue the rigor.
Have we made a mistake? And have we introduced a source of stress (to meet
standards) that maybe has eliminated the joy of the art making?

Please keep in mind that I am talking about kids that are electing art.
What has our pursuit of meeting Standards done to harm the play and
exploration that art used to be about?
I'm about ready to chuck all the nonsense and do just what I know needs to
be done.

I'm worried about my art program