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I have always integrated other subjects into my art-ed curriculum. It's how
I think. I am also happy that other subject areas are becoming aware of art
as a viable method of enriching their students' learning.
I have been fortunate to work with a respectful and dedicated staff that is
supportive and positive about my contributions, but I too, have questioned
the sequence of art involvement in their plans; is it art driven, or
"subject area" driven? This question has led me to actively suggest a
method of delivery that STARTS with visual arts, then broadens to include
the other subject areas. In response to this "interdisciplinary activism",
I have written and developed a course that we are calling "integrated visual
arts", that will begin in the gallery or studio, and move out to include the
other connections, as they become apparent. After all, it's how visual
thinkers learn, isn't it? And I respect my subject as much as they respect
theirs, and have decided to be a little more assertive about it. I'm an
Of course, the give and take between subjects is a positive and healthy
thing. Some of my best friends are "other subject" teachers. And working
with them gives me ideas about different directions to move in with my
students. I learned all about whales and dolphins this winter...
I am convinced that life itself is about learning, and being open to change,
and maintaining a healthy curiosity. If I can give that conviction to my
kids (and teach them the skills and knowledge that we art teachers are so
good at), I'll be fulfilled. That's how I live. It makes ME happy...I hope
I can just pass that along to them...