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Sorry for the hasty reply. I was scolded here the other day for not giving
a positive response about cheap lesson plans. My response to you should be
more like: we often learn surprising things from the tangents that develop
during discussions. This is true almost everywhere. For instance,
recently I've learned quite a bit about art//freedom.
About your question regarding stifled kids. The ages you list are the ages
that most people begin to develop a life of their own. For the first time,
they have their own friends and social business apart from their families.
Since they are so new at it, and it is so very important to them, they want
to make sure they fit in with the new friends, and therefore resist doing
anything that these friends might disapprove of. They don't wanna be
geeky, as my kids say. It is usually only the extremely naieve or the
extremely precocious person who can avoid this conflict at that age.
Our job, perhaps, isn't to engineer artistic freedom, but to give them the
art skills (P & E & thought processes & the ability to trust what they see
and think) in a really cool//fun way so they almost don't know that they
are learning them. Then they will be able to exercise their artistic
freedom and accomplish what they want in the future. As adults attempting
to define their culture and decipher other cultures, they will have the
skills, or recognise that they need to learn more about those skills.
The hazzard of teaching art, of course, is that there will be fewer
'Grandma Moses' type artists in the future. But then, I think the world is
so small now that art without outside influence is all but extinct anyway.
Did you hear about the bunny who stepped in mud and
hopped...hopped...hopped to freedom? The trail he left is quite artistic!
art education student at Central Connecticut State University