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Lesson Plans

Re: Art, Math Lessons and Professional Equity

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 7 May 1996 19:45:48 -0400

MESSAGE from =SMTP%"robert.fionda" 07-MAY-96 19:26
Dear Carolyn,
My compliments to you for asking for help through ArtsEdNet to solve
problems with integrating math theories into your art curriculum. It is
apparent you are a dedicated art educator and many interesting ideas have
been offered by ArtsEdNet members for your review and possible application.
Compliments over; now I have a question for you and the ArtsEdNet group
concerning integration requests from other disciplines into your lessons.
My inquiry of you is..."What did you do when asked to alter your
curriculum to meet this school goal besides answering "Yes"? Obviously,
from a dedicated art educator, yes is the correct response because YOU are a
professional and education should be about the enlightening of the human
mind without boundaries.
Now for the BUT..."When will art educators begin the process of
asking that the elements of art, etc. be brought to the regular classroom?
Integration of the academics seems to be one way; with the fine arts
instructors doing the lion's share of the integrating....
The arts are academic and until you ask or better yet demand that
professional equity be practiced in regards to integration philosophies or
wherever the art are misaligned...then the arts will continue be a doormat
and its instructors will face professional prejudice. Art educators earned
their respect years ago, we just didn't demand it of our peers. Only you can
initiate change.
Next time you are approached...say, "Yes" with all the professional
gusto you have and then request your art needs for students be integrated
into their areas. I would be interested in hearing from you/ArtsEdNet about
their reactions and responses.
Time is up...I fell off my soapbox.


Robert Fionda
Art Educator
Romeo Community Schools

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To: Carolyn Roberts <b2w6w4kn>
From: Robert Fionda <robert.fionda>
Subject: Re: Art, Math Lessons and Professional Equity
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<<REPLY from >> Vicki S. Bodenhamer 07-MAY-96 19:45
I can't help but agree with Robert--too frequently our subject area is
negated and simply becomes the illustration on a page without deeper
thought. In a recent presentation--interdisciplinary using art, music,
ELA, math, social studies, and science concepts--I taught them all in a
visual arts room, modeling for classroom teachers and arts specialists how
integrated learning is much more meaningful--the response was
overwhelmingly positive...the level of learning so much more sophisticated
than learning the same concepts piecemeal... Anyway, to make a long story
short, the visual arts teachers came to me later and were amazed..."You
mean WE can do it to them??? We can tell THEM how WE teach THEIR subjects
naturally as a part of quality teaching and learning??? You mean we don't
HAVE to do what THEY say??? My response was of course not! Stick to
quality art instruction; refuse to do stupid lessons that teach
nothing--but are mere fun activities that quite frankly teach neither the
"basic" nor art. Ask yourself seriously--in relation to art or any other
subject area--"What does a kid really need to know and be able to do to be
a better artist, student in general, citizen...etc. What set of "tools" is
neccessary to survive in today's world? What will equip him to be
prepared to deal with any situation regardless of the context--the same set
of tools that will enable him to survive when the context changes...It's
heady stuff! No longer will refrigerator art meet the standard of quality
content. By showing and teaching meaningful content, you will not have to
refuse to do "butterfly" lessons or "pumpkin" pictures. Quality demands
respect. Collaborate with those other teachers, but explain to them and
make them explain: What is it we're really teaching... Integrated teaching
and learning is exciting, hard work--well worth the extra effort, but
don't let the integrity of the visual arts get buried...