"The end of art ed as WE know it...)was Tavins way of celebrating what he sees as the fall of DBAE and the ascendency of critique-based VCAE.
Our kids do have a visual library a set of conventions used in representation. It is just that as far as what they actually have access to and can use themselves it is not a very rich one. They do have very rich and diverse set resources and references. sponge bob, dragon ball z, clifford So much so that I'm beginning to think they may be getting confused by it all and defaulting to a stiff and minimalistic set of conventions to reference in their own drawing.
I've been playing all year with teaching a generailzed set of conventions along the lines of the Aztec codexes and some early Buddhist art I've run into. Very simple and minimal but developmentally a major step along the line. First and Second graders are doing better faces than the 4th and 5th graders over all now. In class at least, next year I'lll staert expecting to see it reflected in their classrooms and on the bulletin boards.
Building that liberty is a very important goal and one that wasn't addressed in my art ed program. Kids grow initially it seems by moving from new convention to new convention. I does seem to go against the grain of original art to teach that way tho. You have to balance one against the other. Having a decent convention will allow the transition to originality to flow more smoothly I think. We'll see.
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