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"fixing" art education


From: artappeal (artappeal_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 20:06:49 PST

It makes me sad that in our efforts to prove that art education isn't a
frill, we may take all the joy out of it. I don't know any (although they
may be out there) people that became interested in teaching, making, or
studying art through only intellectually learning about art or linking art
to other subjects, instead of making it. I don't like the idea of existing
only to deliver content that supports "the important" (in other words, the
tested) subjects. Why is it wrong to focus on skills that will help students
visually communicate? Where else do students get to do this? Students are
often asked in other subjects to visually communicate something, but how
will they learn to effectively do this? Skills and techniques for artmaking
can be transferred and used. They are necessary in making presentations,
for creating pleasing living spaces throughout life, for understanding how
different mediums work and don't work (this will come up in day to day
life). A well educated person needs these skills. Although I advocate all
aspects of art education (DBAE, visual literacy, integration with other
subjects, multiculturalism, etc.), I don't discount the importance of MAKING
art. That is why I became an art teacher. That is why I appreciate art, I
have struggled with, enjoyed, and experienced the process of creating
something myself.