I started writing a long note last night about Kathy's pink slip notice....
and then fell asleep before sending it off.
I'm extremely concerned about the cuts. It shows a definite lack of
foresightedness and need. The current quest for test scores to meet the
demands of federal initiatives is forgetting that the No Child is also a
If the teachers of the arts are constantly being eliminated, we will never
get beyond advocacy for our programs. I am currently doing a research
project on assessment in the arts. I am finding tons of stuff on what we
profess to do and why art is important, but little evidence to show that
what we say we do actually happens.
The article that Bunki outlined about medical students increasing
observational skills through looking at art is what I'm talking about. This
article says to me what I think we are not addressing in art ed.
I think after all the years of DBAE and Standards we still concentrate too
much on skills and technique and not the content, contexts, and relevancy of
an informed observation.
I don't know.
I'm not sure we can ever make art so "legitimate" that is survives budget
cuts. I'm not sure we can ever make it so valued. The history of advocacy
is getting old. I read the same things over and over again. Just how do we
show the evidence ?
I would like to advocate that we stop trying to prove ourselves and actually
prove ourselves. We need some serious study and data that shows we are
achieving the Standards.
I think we have to look at the many ways that observational skills can be
achieved and what those skills lead to as far as a connection to other ares.
I think we have to look at the many ways to "experience " art and not just
the skills/technique ways that dominate our plans. Are we willing to give
up visual literacy to other disciplines?
I can't say how much I feel for long term teachers that are facing cuts. It
is heartbreaking ..... and .... none of us should feel "safe' in our
positions. The money is going to the test results that produce more money
and there ain't none of that in art.
I'm so sorry Kathy, that you have to face this. I've experienced the
feeling and it's more than depressing. No matter the reasons, you always
feel personally inadequate. But Bunki's comments confirm that you are a
great one and hopefully your opportunities will come.
One last word.
We are a community, we art teachers. We know what we do is good and
worthwhile. It's very difficult to maintain a positive attitude when we
always live under the shadow that we will be the first to go.... We work so
hard with displays and shows and competitions and portfolios.... we make
them "feel good" and we make their parents and community feel good... we
knock ourselves out always trying to come up with new approaches to the
"lesson" ... we accommodate more than any other discipline I know..... and
yet we are the frill that is easily cut