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Re: We help; no...we are a detriment; no...we ARE collateral


From: The Austin's (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 24 2002 - 05:19:30 PDT

Larry, thanks for reaffirming my belief. I always seem to feel guilty
because while the other teachers are meeting together with a student's
parents to "come up with a behavior plan", I am looking at them with puzzled
thoughts wondering why Little Johnny has always been an angel in my class.
And they look at me and wonder why I'm not pegging him to the wall as well
(it's never been "what's her secret"!). I have students tell the counselor
they would drop school if they couldn't take art. They don't seem to realize
why it's important to them, just that they need it. My classes are huge, and
yet I always seem to find room for another students (huge for me is anything
over 24 students). Students don't care what theory we art teachers are
currently immersed in. They just want to create, just as we do. No, art
needs no justification.
And Larry, buy the house - and install a pond! :-)

> The value of art? For what it contributes to math? To World or American
> History? To English or Literature? How about simply because we are
> and that alone should be valued? How about as an opportunity for kids to
> synthesize information from the academic subjects to reflect and express.
> In that benefits from the core subjects, and not vice versa.
> Kids will begin to question and explore purpose and meaning, world issues
> and how one might respond, personal identity, etc., as they develop skills
> to artistically express.
> Not to suggest the really good valedictorian types do not take art....for
> they do, but any wonder why it is that those students often seen as
> disruptive and difficult for core academic instructors seem to flourish
> be productive in art class? Art allows to internalize, then externalize.
> Without a sense that life has purpose and meaning...chances are state
> testing will appear even more redundant and ridiculous to the kids. Art
> more value than how it will improve core academic test scores. They ought
> to thank us, be sure. But, art needs no justification. Period.

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