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Lesson Plans


Re: Copying

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Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 21:41:33 -0500

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Judith wrote:
> Also--I still frown and even throw tantrums if kids copy drawings, paintings, etc. I think there is a distinction. Photograph is certainly art, but I guess drawings and paintings have a different degree of synthesizing. Surely then we'd be talking about plagarism.

I came across an interesting article a number of years ago concerning
some research done on children and drawing. One of the conclusions of
the research was that children who did copying as a step towards
learning other skills (shading, composition, facial proportions, etc.)
actually did become better at those skills than children who only worked
directly from the real thing. STEP has to be emphasized. As many others
already wrote, copying something and believing art has been created is
not the point. Copying to learn a skill, and then be able to go on and
apply it to one's own original work is the point. This research article
also brought up the fact that many Renaissance artists did
apprenticeships with master artists and often got most of their training
by copying the master's work. It's a very valid class activity to have
students work from something like Durer's praying hands, and then have a
homework assignment to draw their own hand, employing similar shading
techniques, etc. I like to think of copying activities as practice.
That's how athletes get better. Practice can be a great deal of help to
students.

-- 
Sandra Hildreth
http://www.northnet.org/hildreth
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617

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