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Re: Didaction and constructivism

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From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 21:35:30 PDT


--- Diane Gregory <dianegregory@earthlink.net> wrote:
>

>
> I humbly believe one of the basic tenets of
> constructivism, is that the
> teacher does "not" have it figured out. As a matter
> of fact, the teacher is
> a learner along side the students. Perhaps and
> granted the teacher is a more
> sophisticated learner and more experienced, but
> nonetheless, the teacher is
> always learning within a constructivist approach.
>

This probably has a lot to do with age level and
subject. In math, grammar, reading, and the like the
"guide by the side" must know more. To me this is
where didaction comes into the picture. As a society,
we would get nowhere if we were constantly reinventing
the wheel.

I think a constructivist approach is very appropriate
for art education, because it is a subject that is
open to interpretation. We would be a bit negligent
in my opinion, if we did not share critical and
historical perspectives that relate to the artwork
itself. How else would you begin to interpret why
something was created and why we deed it important
today? I might be willing to go for gut responses to
art occasionally, but to gain appreciation, some
context is necessary. Students can be responsible for
gathering the information, but someone has to be able
to determine the validity of the information. In
contemporary culture, we should probably at least
build a foundation for analyzing images that we
encounter everyday, as well. I would hold aesthetics
up for debate, but believe that there are certain
underlying components that cannot be ignored for any
valid discussion - for one thing, students have to be
taught what aesthetics is. Perhaps this is where
scaffolding is significant - we can learn from
multiple perspectives, whether they come from the
designated "teacher" or not. Knowledge does not have
to be exclusively one way - but at school, we are
educators, not collegues.

Dawn

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