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artistic integrity for teachers

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From: Pam Wellington (loveart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 10 2005 - 07:13:07 PST


I know how you feel. Unfortunately there isn't too much you can do about
it, except maybe blow the whistle on them. Being laughed at? Wow. You
should be the one laughing at them for being so nasty and cluless about the
fact that as teachers we are role models to our students of integrity. They
are simply bad teachers. and I hope they read this site! ;)
We have scholastic arts in our region every year. Years ago I was
substituting for an art teacher and her students had large projected images
on the wall which they were tracing. I asked them what they were doing and
they said they were doing portraits for entry into scholastic arts. I tried
to act nieve and continued to ask them questions, which they freely
answered. It seems that each year the teacher gets photos, projects them,
has the students trace them, then they shade them in and submit them for the
competition! Scholastic Arts clearly states "no work done from
photographs". Well, one year she got caught. She was nearly fired from her
job, kicked down in rank and also kicked off the scholastic arts committee,
which she had been a part of for years. But, you know what? I attend
Scholastic Arts each year and I always find at least 2 or 3 works that were
done straight out of a magazine. I guess the judges aren't always too
swift. Let it roll off you and keep being a teacher of integrity. We've
all experienced a run-in with the bad teacher brigade at one time or another
in our careers, and we will again. The better you are as a teacher, the more
you will have trouble come your way in this area. Get used to it. It's the
price you pay for maintaining high principles.
Pam Wellington - Art Dept. Chair
Boiling Springs High School, PA

Subject: re: artistic integrity of teachers
From: "gail kizis" <smokealarm7@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 23:04:40 -0600
X-Message-Number: 30

Hi All,
While hanging a student art show yesterday with art teachers from the =
other high school in our city, one of the other teachers made a comment =
on how nice my student's photo was and asked how he had done it. =
Without thinking I told her the simple process that he had researched on =
his own, experimented with on his own and produced in our darkroom at =
school on his own.
She quickly said "thanks now I will use this with my students."
I believe in sharing ideas and i borrow and adapt lots of ideas i get =
from conferences and off the internet.
But, I do not steal ideas from the art teachers at the other high school =
because we live in a small city and our kids compete against each other.
I expressed how I felt and was laughed at by her and her two colleagues.
It wouldn't be so bad except we just finished another show where their =
high school won 1st place for a photo that was obviously a much more =
mature process than a high school student could come up with on his own. =
That student's dad is one of the art teachers at that same high school =
and the kid told me himself that they took it to a professional =
photographer and had it printed using a special process and machine that =
that photographer owned. They also won for a drawing that was a copy of =
a photo of al capone. Nice technique but not the kid's own artistic =
idea. The local college where the show was held and judged clearly =
state in the entry materials that no work shall be plagarized in any way =
from another artist yet every year one of the other high school's kids =
wins for a drawing or painting that is copied from a photo from a =
magazine.
I am furious because I won't even let my kids look at a photograph they =
did not take to copy for a drawing, or do anything to a student's =
project ( i will demonstrate on a separate piece of paper only), or =
suggest ideas as to what needs to be added to make something better. I =
only ask questions to stimulate their thinking and firmly believe in =
artistic integrity; i.e., it is my work because i made it out of my own =
head with my own hands.
Am I being silly about this. I feel the other high school is cheating.
I know this is long but I need outside perspectives if you have the time =
to respond.
Thanks,

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