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Re: [teacherartexchange] students destroying art work


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 24 2009 - 14:16:25 PDT

On May 24, 2009, at 12:49 PM, Jeff Pridie wrote:

> We discuss this in class with my Elementary and High School
> Students. The "choice" to throw away work is "theirs" where they
> throw it is to be considerate of others.

If we truly engage in the "process" and celebrate those
accomplishments, then maybe we can understand why the product gets
disregarded sometimes. I think about my own process -- and when I
feel I "own the art." I've been making art for a long time and much
of it is "in process." or discarded. That is a big part of being a
"thinker" in the arts-- there are failures! But you regard the
thinking process, and then figure how to make it work the next time.
When lessons are teacher selected/directed, there is bound to be a
number of students who just don't care. Even when students make
choices, it may not work. Surely a student destroys something or
doesn't care when the evaluation is only on the product and not the
So, my question is????? what counts? And, if we are to be addressing
the thinking skills of the 21st century - how are we teaching art
students to modify and adjust, refine and see it through to an end.
And particularly how do we identify the skills that may apply to
future endeavors and give credence to the thinking process they use?
Everything I'm looking at and being asked to apply to my lessons is
about this kind of identification and to make the student aware that
some kind of thinking was achieved. As a teacher I think I need to
evaluate the ability to evaluate and apply more than worry about a
product that may be in my mind. Our current students will change
jobs a dozen times over their lifetimes. If we concentrate on giving
problem solving initiatives - with failure built in-- then we can
give the the skills to assess the process they go through and how to
apply that to the next level. I teach high school and I always tell
my students there is always somebody who can make it "prettier," but
what the art and design world looks for is some one who can create a
new idea. I value the idea -- if it doesn't work, then trash it
and start from the point where is looked like it would work , and fix
the problems.

I think when a child does not regard the work, it's because the
expectations were teacher ones and not a self selected avenue of
pursuit. The creative process has no beginning or no end -- it
revolves and evolves. We see a general population of students who
may or may not care about art. Yet, our job is is to find some way to
success in some way. Most of them feel they can not meet art
expectations. But if we value and nurture the idea - then maybe we
can have a little more regard.

I grapple with the ideas coming from my high school students daily.
Mostly it's stuff I don't care about -- but they do! Do I force them
into what I think or ask them to think? I ask the questions.. That's
all I can do.

If they only leave me thinking they have the capacity for an idea.
then that's all I care about.

Truly, I have given up many so called art standards in place of the


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