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>>> karen d. palcho <kdp> 03/02/97 12:03pm >>>
This message responds to the second week's suggested activities in the
curriculum issues seminar which is accessible through "Our Place in the
World," a cuuriculum resource posted on Artsednet, the website. I
posted it originally on 2/25 but did not see it onsite, so will post it a second
In response to "Thinking About Themes" I offer these thoughts
* Years ago in an attempt to develop a truly sequential 10-12 grade
discilpline- based studio art program, I came up with the following
sequence of courses and use it still today: A History of Western Art, A
Global Perspective on the Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art.
Consequently, I have rarely used themes like those listed in Activity One.
The course titles function as themes. Other themes I use are Art as a
Society; Ideals of Beauty; The Artist's Life ( through time and across
culture). Naturally, most of the themes listed appear as elements of
individual units in one course or another. By using history, world issues
and contemporary culture as course themes I have a highly structured
but very flexible, dynamic backbone. News and current events can readily
and spontaneously be incorporated into any unit. Also, by structuring courses
around history, philosophy and culture the art making component of
courses is extremely flexible and always open to the influence of student input,
current events and special projects. This is important as I stress student
self-determination in art making.
* Many of the themes listed would be excellent for quarter or
semester-long courses. At the elementary level, themes such as 'People
at home, work, play; Children, Animals, Water or Portrait, Landscape, Still
Life' could be easily integrated into grade level curriculum for
interdisciplinary study. In terms of interdisciplinary thinking, I like the
old adage: If you study one theme and thoroughly follow its thread, you
will learn something about everything in the world. A thinking teacher can
incorporate religion, psychology, politics and environmental, scientific
and social issues into any of the listed themes. Without the context of
overall scope and sequence, I can't say that any one theme more stimulates
interdiscipliary thinking than another. However, Nature and Art; Cities and
Art; The Human Image in Art and Landscape and Portraiture seem to
invite multi-layered perspectives.