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Lesson Plans


Reinventing the Wheel

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Tue, 7 May 1996 16:47:02 -0400


I have been accused of spending too much time doing this (reinventing the
wheel), but I love the creative process. I don't care if it is conducting
research and discovering that Thomas Eakins worked from photographs (which
I did feel like I discovered because I analyzed his paintings - but I'm
sure art historians were already well aware of this) or figuring out how to
construct a model of the Pantheon dome. This is one of the most important
aspects of Art - to provide the motivation and inspiration for kids to seek
out creative solutions. Any kind of problems. If the arts can help them get
proficient in creative problem solving, then they are more likely to apply
that to other areas. We can't just tell them all the answers, or teach them
all the techniques. We need to set up situations or arguments or whatever
where they have the chance to discover for themselves, because that is when
real learning is more likely to take place.

As far as including arts instruction in various artistic "traditions", of
course it is a valid and important facet of art education. We are all
products of artistic (and other) traditions. We need to acknowledge and
recognize and hopefully value our past and our heritage - the good and the
bad of it. That doesn't eliminate personal growth and development. It
doesn't wipe out individual creativity. If anything, tradition helps us
understand who we are and where we came from - how we react to it all is
our personal growth and development. We can't escape the influences of the
environment around us - so it is doubly important to receive exposure to
our traditions. The past has always been a part of human life - we learn
from our past. That never stopped the creativity of artists of the past.

Sandra Hildreth <shildret>
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617