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Lesson Plans

"of shoes and ships and sealing wax.."

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sun, 24 Mar 1996 12:02:34 -0600 (CST)

Do I love this group or what??!! Many thanks to all who responded to my=
response to Diane's questions and thanks again to Diane for sparking such=
wonderful comments. I won't use the term "debate", because we all seem to=
be in general agreement about these topics. Every time I read a new=
digest, I find myself saying "THAT'S IT!" or "She is SOOOO right." So just=
one or two more notes on recent postings:
Sandra Hildreth raises an excellent point about the need to balance freedom=
and structure. While I belive you can't create art in chaos, and "free"=
teachers are probably as structured as anyone - just in a different way - I=
agree 100% with Sandra's point. I've been teaching for almost 25 years and=
I'm still struggling to find that balance.=20
Henry, you wrote that if we could get the students, themselves, asking what=
questions of art are most important to them as individuals, we might get=
them engaged in the arts and their disciplines. That's a good thought. Dr.=
Nancy Johnson spoke at our school recently and suggested we require the=
students to create questions during a lesson as this requires higher level=
thinking than merely responding to the teacher's queries. Although I have=
always encouraged questions, I now plan to work this into my curriculum as=
a sort of culminating activity. I know this isn't quite what you meant,=
but it sort of follows. I also loved your point about the arts surviving=
cyclical submersion in other subjects, refreshing those subjects and=
reemerging refreshed themselves. (Although you're right - That's NOT what I=
Finally, Marcia Thompson took the words right out of my mouth - or keyboard=
- in her response to Diane's questions about classroom teachers pre-service=
art preparation. If we could get the classroom teachers to understand the=
depth and breadth of art as a discipline and enlist them as advocates and=
supporters, this would be a great help. I would only add that I would have=
that training be a required Humanities approach including all the arts, a=
la William Fleming's ARTS AND IDEAS which links the arts to philosophy and=
places them in a historical context. ( Does anybody else out there love=
this book?) Unfortunately, it is only recently that art ed has "come of=
age" and we need to impress as many people as possible with what can be=
done in a good art program. Art has been so poorly taught for so long, it=
is hardly surprising that many of today's policy makers have no respect for=
the subject or its teachers. When I address adult audiences, one of the=
first questions I ask is "How many of you still use some concept or skill=
you learned in a school art class? Not surprisingly, the response is=
pretty depressing. We must do everything possible to spread the word about=
the possibilities inherent in a REAL art program and a good step toward=
that end would be to have classroom teachers who are equally committed to=
the concept. My colleagues at=20school are wonderful in this area. They=
use art in a multitude of ways to enhance their subjects and still support=
my program vigorously. =20
This is way too long and I apologize, but I do want to share an anecdote=
which illustrates the lack of respect and understanding accorded many art=
teachers. A friend of mine was applying for a teaching position many years=
ago. Although she is technically a science teacher, this was a small=
community and they were looking for a combination art and music teacher. =
My friend plays the piano and she got the job because. as she was told,=
"You need to play an instrument to teach music, but ANYBODY can teach art."=

Eileen Prince
Sycamore School =20

  • Maybe reply: Mcracker: "Re: "of shoes and ships and sealing wax..""
  • Maybe reply: Mcracker: "Re: "of shoes and ships and sealing wax..""