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Lesson Plans

Re: Curricula

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Sat, 03 May 1997 08:48:17 -0700 (MST)

Nice list Glenn!

You wrote:
> "explore the nature of transfer through the visual world"

Could you expand a bit on this concept of "transfer" and its nature?

> There is now a visual (Spatial) intelligence which is posited-
> what better group to explore it than us?

Perceptual psychologists might put up a fight ;) but Art Ed has a good
claim. This raises a question for me tho. Sensory perception pretty much
disappears from the curriculum after the primary grades, except, with
luck, in the area of the arts. Still, by college or university levels it
seems to have pretty much dropped out of sight (no pun intended). The
conceptual seems to be favored over the perceptual. The conceptual fits
in with the heavy emphasis on the cognitive, the abstract, and the
intellectual, favored by modern culture. Look how intellectual the
discipline of aesthetics has become. What once, by definition, "pertained to
the senses" has been almost entirely subsumed by philosophy. I am,
however, beginning to notice something called "bio-aesthetics" or
variations on the theme. It seems that just as "most people" are visual,
"most people" rely on a perceptual aesthetic far more than any act of
reason or cognition. (Is "image" an important quality in being elected
president here in the U.S.?)

With regard to the creation of thousands of individual art curricula for
schools I'm not so sure I don't like it just that way. Math, Science, (and
Technology) are themselves based on convergent standards and goals. A
scientist, mathematician, or engineer in any location in the world can,
and daily do, replicate the work of other scientists down to the last
molecule. Imagine an artworld where artists knocked out a couple of
"Blue Boys", a "Mona Lisa", a Mobile, and a Pollack or three before lunch?

There is a Table of Elements, undisputed models of DNA and Genetics, and
a set of "Laws" in physics that no one much argues about. Its easy to
have standards in such a domain. That is not to say that the arts COULD
NOT be constrained to a stable and formal universe. But, what would that
mean for the arts? Just imagine what Leonardo, Van Gogh, Seurat, DeKooning,
Rosetti, Giotto, Pollack, Picasso and Warhol might have done had they
shared the same curriculum down through the centuries. Bach, Mozart,
Stravinski and Cage?

Scientists and mathematicians need to share their perspective on the
universe in order to build a usable model in which explanations and
procedures are predictable. Is this desirable for the arts? I think the
old Soviet Union might have been working towards something predicatble
in painting and sculpture through their official support of Socialist

I, for one, would suggest some reflection before embracing the success' of
the sciences out here in the arts.

I think abut these things too so yes, there are other art teachers
looking for ways to explore the broader and more philosophical aspects
of our parent discipline.