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Lesson Plans

Diane Gregory's Questions

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 23 Mar 1996 16:36:13 -0500

Wow! I have now been thinking about Diane's questions for a couple of days
and now have an additional layer of three very articulate responses. I am
especially intrigued by the question concerning why all studio artists are
not good teachers -- it seems to me to boil down to the ability to
communicate. The exceptional teacher is able to communicate to students that
passion for art, the high expectations he/she has for each individual and an
ongoing love of learning. Two other attributes also come to mind
--persistance and participation. The exceptional teacher never gives up and
is never satisfied that they've got it figured out. She is always trying to
find a way of reaching that angry young boy or the student who says "I
can't". The participation is the teacher's acknowledgement that he is a
learner too and that some of his most important learning comes from the
students. This is something my student teachers struggle with because they
think they need to have all the answers.

I think the institutions that train teachers need to find more and more ways
to have students in the schools earlier and longer in authentic ways. These
could range from job shadowing a variety of teachers (and students) to
helping with extracurricular activities to being assigned to a school over an
extended period of time before student teacheing. Students need to watch
successful teachers and they need lots of interactions with students to learn
to communicate.

On the topic of methods classes for elementary teachers....I think they
should be aimed at making the teachers an ally of the art teacher -- to help
them see how they can extend and integrate the ideas presented into the art
class with the other areas of the curriculum.They need to be taught by a
teacher who can communicate a passion for art and the importance of art in
the curriculum so they can in turn pass this on to their students. Do they
need to be studio artists to do this ??? Not at all --- they need to care
about the subject, allow important blocksof time and set high standards. They
also need to be working with an art teacher who is continually assisting them
in doing these things.

Long enough --too many good questions!

Marcia Thompson
6-8 Art
West Salem Middle School
West Salem, WI