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RE: [teacherartexchange] changing our teaching habits


From: Sears, Ellen (ELLEN.SEARS_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 09 2008 - 18:26:15 PDT

What a great article - thanks for sharing -


-----Original Message-----
From: Marvin Bartel []
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 8:37 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: [teacherartexchange] changing our teaching habits

". . . the more new things we try
 the more we step outside our comfort zone
 the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in
our personal lives."

The above is a quote from:

Unboxed: Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?
By JANET RAE-DUPREE - New York Times, May 4, 2008

The article is in the Business section, but should also be in education
section. Here the author explains the reason that schools kill

"Researchers in the late 1960s discovered that humans are born with the
capacity to approach challenges in four primary ways: analytically,
procedurally, relationally (or collaboratively) and innovatively. At
puberty, however, the brain shuts down half of that capacity, preserving
only those modes of thought that have seemed most valuable during the
first decade or so of life.

The current emphasis on standardized testing highlights analysis and
procedure, meaning that few of us inherently use our innovative and
collaborative modes of thought." Schools squelch them. I would say the
emphasis on standards in art education is similar to the emphasis on
standardized testing in other areas.

Do art classes counteract this educational problem, or are we part of
it? Do we experiment with team projects or continue to stress only
individual expertise? Do we give innovation top credit, or is
correctness and following the assignment given the highest ranking in
our rubrics? Do we employ open thinking questions to encourage unique
thinking, or do we make suggestions, show demos, and show examples
(things that standardize thinking). Do we sweat principles and
standards, or do we go with the fun of experimentation, unexpected
outcomes, and discovery? According to this article, we too can change
and become more creative in our teaching if we take small, but regular
steps. I know that some art teachers are doing this well. I think more
of us could gradually cultivate innovative and creative art studio
classroom culture. This article about changing our habits might provide
the inspiration.


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