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Lesson Plans

Do you have to be an artist to be a good art teacher.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 19:25:08 -0600

Do you have to be an artist to be a good art teacher?
In order to answer that question, we need to answer this one:
What is art education (k-12) for at the end of the millennium?
Is it to train artists? Is it to expose students to artwork? Is it to
teach students to be critical agents of social change? Is it to help
students get jobs? Is it to teach children to express themselves? Is it
to enculturate students into the good life (monocultural or
multicultural-high/low)? Is it to help students see how others live and
create? Is it to teach students how to read images (all images)?......
American Art education (k-12) has gone from training draftsman(sic) to
DBAE. Where does it go from here? Is it really about "ART?"
If it is not just about art (making products and training artists), then
how do we negotiate the terrain of critical citizenship ? In a world
saturated with images (mostly of mass media/popular culture) for
consumption, where hegemony wins consent through pleasure (popular culture)
what is the role of the art educator (an image educator)? How is being an
artist both beneficial and debilitating? Another way to ask this is: does
one need to be a critical educator (experiencing
classes/seminars/pedagogical circumstances in multiple disciplines and
across fields such as anthropology, literary studies, cultural studies,
women's studies, African- American studies, philosophy, history, etc..) and
not just an artist to be an art educator? How do we balance the two?

It seems to me the bipolar nature of "art education" (artist or educator,
or both)stems from the "perceived" split, dichotomy between art and
education. The private and the public. The expressive and the cerebral.
The individualistic and the communative. The innate and the teachable.
The artist and the academic. The art student and the general education
student. Personal fulfillment and societal change.

What is the role of art in education?

Kevin Michael Tavin Ph.D. Candidate
Dept. of Art Education
The Pennsylvania State University
School of Visual Arts

  • Maybe reply: Moonbeargj: "Re: Do you have to be an artist to be a good art teacher."