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Re: HS Art Teachers- course selections

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From: gail kizis (smokealarm7_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 05 2003 - 20:28:53 PST


I agree totally. Our numbers are down because of the factors you mentioned -
"too hard", etc. We think maybe it is because the kids are not well enough
prepared when we get them as freshmen. We just had a meeting today (there
are 4 art teachers at our school of about 1750) and decided a couple of
things:
    we have set up a meeting with the jr high art teachers and elementary
art specialists to try to align our curriculum vertically. we are starting
ap studio next fall and need to step up the pace. maybe if the kids we get
as freshmen are better prepared we won't have the turnover rate we have.
the second thing we decided is to get rid of the "blow off classes" like
fibers and cultural arts and have all entry level students begin at Art 1
which will be a survey class of different media and processes with the
elements, principles and art history too.
we are hopeful that by giving all beginning art students an exposure to
different avenues to make art we will maybe get some that are just crazy
about ...printmaking or ..... ceramics or whatever so we can get these kids
hooked on art making once they find their personal "voice", if you will.
this may all blow up in our faces but what we have been doing isn't working
because our advanced class numbers are getting smaller each year - even
photo has suffered.

as far as it all being a mistake, we just want ONE (to start with) kid from
our school to get a 4 yr ride to college because of art and maybe our
program will gain the credibility it deserves. WE know it is important but
we want others (admin/parents/students) to value art too.
maybe respect is the whole point and earning it by being excellent. there
has to be some joy in that, and in getting college paid for. people who
take craft classes at hobby lobby find joy in what they do and some of our
students will go that route. some will never make art again. but some will
be heartsick if they don't do something art related for a living. we have to
give those kids at least the opportunity to compete nationally for
scholarships and slots in college to get the education they need.
that is why we are trying to restructure our dept. to make it better with
less turnover.
hang in there
nancy in north texas
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patricia Knott" <pknott@enter.net>
. 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?
>

>

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