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Lesson Plans


Re: censorship

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Ken Rohrer (kenroar)
Mon, 4 Mar 96 20:31:12 -0500


>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!
>Annella Bridges
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Ah! The old censureship issue. I remember when I was student teaching and I
let a middle school student borrow one of my art books, "Art Since 1945".
The student brought it in all mangled up. I showed the principal the book
and he leafed through it and saw one picture with a nude woman painting on
it. He had a fit! He told me it was very inappropriate and if I ever wanted
to be an art teacher, I was to excercise better judgement in the future. I
survived student teaching in spite of this incident.

Now I let the community, administration and overall atmosphere of the
school determine what's OK. Another art teacher in my district and I let
our gifted art students see famous works of nude or partially nude work. We
just tell them that we are assuming that they really are gifted and not
immature enough to view such art. Neither one of us will let our regular
art students see art such as the David statue by Michelangelo. I've hung up
that picture, but covered a key area of the figure. My principal has
forbidden my art students to use the peace sign in any art because she
thinks the symbol is satanic. She told me this after removing a picture by
a student I had displayed.

While I was in Italy, I saw that nude sculpture and art was everywhere.
Elementary aged students were seen admiring the art without making rude
comments or other immature behavior. It seems that our country has a long
way to go in this area. They see this art as somehow immoral. They are
truly art deprived- and thats a shame!

Hopefully your first job will be in a cultured community where they
appreciate art more and won't have a fit when little Joey comes home and
tells about the nude native paintings by Gouguin he saw in art class. My
only advice is to wait until you are sure you know your community and
principal before you show any nude art.

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  • Reply: Kathrine L Walker: "Re: censorship"