Hello! My name is Annella Bridges, another Southwest Texas art ed. student.
My question for you art educators, secondary especially, concerns
1. How you determine what is appropriate for art work in the classroom.
I know some decisions are made on an administrative level: drug paraphanalia,
gang symbols, etc. What about individual teachers? I know there are many
factors; can you make absolute rules?
2. How these standards are enforced. Must each situation be considered
on an individual basis, or are you able to make across the board judgements?
Please feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you have time for, I
would appreciate any and all input.
Thank you very much!
I am very glad you brought up this topic, as it is one I have not
yet seen discussed here. Since I am currently student teaching 9-12, it is
something I certainly deal with, and give considerable thought to.
While my cooperating teacher does not have a list posted (I have seen
this elsewhere) as to what subjects are inappropriate or unacceptable, it
seems to be generally understood as to what they are.
However, last week, a boy who is said by the faculty to be a
"satanic worshiper" (I have no proof of this) produced a self-portrait. At
the end of class one day, he oddly left the piece sitting out in the open,
next to the sink area. When I went to move it so it would not be ruined, I
noticed he had added some very disturbing genital parts to himself. Not
quite knowing what to do, and not wanting other students to see this, I
called upon my master teacher! He did not seem as shocked as I; I guess
this boy has a history.
Well, in summation, that particular subject area was not accepted
as appropriate!! At least in the context in which it was presented. There
is a difference between beauty and vulgarity, however fine the line. SO, to
answer your question, I think that basic guidelines can be created for the
students to follow, but that each and every situation can still be treated
as an individual.
I am looking forward to others' insights on this topic...
P.S. STUDENT TEACHERS ARE PEOPLE, TOO.