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Lesson Plans

Re: Curriculum Issues Questions

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Ben Schasfoort (Ben.Schasfoort)
Sun, 09 Mar 1997 23:01:39 +0100

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Mary Ericson raised some interesting questions when she summarized
Curriculum Issues.
Can we agree that, using the thematic approach in art education, the teacher
should be aware of problems with widening scope? Try me and I will connect
home made bread to every theme, but is that advisable? I think we should
limit the scope to the horizons set by the goals we aim at with a particular
theme. We should also give pupils a clear idea of significant connections.

The scope of art education? Do I understand the question? I would answer
that for art in education there are two sources:
1 The general assignment of education given by the authority, made up by
democratic rules.
2 The specific assignment of art, discussed by art and art education
specialists and in general accepted by art educators/teachers.

If the themes together cover the complete contents of the art curriculum,
one could see all themes together as a theme in itself. In that way it is
possible to take "what makes us human" as a theme, why not?
However, having accepted this wide theme, one should go back to the two
sources I mentioned (general and specific assignment) and cut it in
educational pieces.

There are so many possibilities for sequences. The history of Western Art
is only one. Going from (all) different cultures to Adam and Eve is another.
Not the sequence makes a theme good or bad, but the effectiveness of the=
Chosing a sequence is not easy. A sequence can be historical, logical,
geographical or determined by the cultural diversity of the class
population, and it matters which one you choose.

I would not bother eight year olds with the theme "love" and a theme called
"Religion" would be (if I had to prepare it) complete different for art
education in Rome or in Ca=EFro.=20

All together:
Using themes or "ordinary lessons" makes no real difference for a curriculum
designer. The design questions are almost the same.
Ben Schasfoort
e-mail: ben.schasfoort
Tel. and fax: (0) 597 55 15 03

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