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Lesson Plans


Re: Visual Thinking Skills

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Hingham - Foster - Cynthia - McKeon (cmckeon)
Tue, 18 May 1999 12:48:09 +0100


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> one of the things that turned me off most about the vts method or philosophy
> is that there seemed to be a very snobbish undercurrent. it appeared to
> me that the presenter believed so few of the intellectual elite could go
> through a formal critiquing process, so few people want to and are capable
> of learning about art, why bother? why not just let them make up pretty
> stories rather than worry them with lots of information?
>
>
Wendy, I am curious about this - are you sure that the presenter was
saying that "few could go through a formal critiquing process?" Or
possibly was the presenter saying that most people are not
developmentally ready to do so yet?

I had a class with Abigail Housen when she was at Mass Art (she is a
wonderful person), and the crux of her work, from what I remember, is
that people go through developmental stages of visual readiness; as
many people do not look very much at art, (part of the reason being
that museums are designed to present work to higher level viewers, hence
alienating many potential viewers), they are stuck at a beginning level
- her goal was for museums to be aware of this and to present work in
such a way that they would reach many different levels of viewers,
making art and aesthetic growth more accessible. Maybe your presenter
was just lousy.

I went through the training process to code work - I was sent out into
the field and had people talk into a microphone, transcribed what they
said, and rated them as viewers. It was fascinating how your could tell
the level of a viewer by using such analytical means. While I still
talk about formal elements in my classroom, I know that the primary way
that most of my students will react to work is by experiencing it as
narrative (I teach at the elementary level). - Also, during a higher
order thinking class which had nothing to do with Abigail Housen's work,
one of the major strategies was listening to children, then asking them
what they thought, and why. I do present information, but I also try to
engage my students in this type of very challenging thinking.

Cynthia, South of Boston

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one of the things that turned me off most about the vts method or philosophy
is that there seemed  to be a very snobbish undercurrent.   it appeared to
me that the presenter believed so few of the intellectual elite could go
through a formal critiquing process, so few people want to and are capable
of learning about art, why bother?  why not just let them make up pretty
stories rather than worry them with lots of information?

Wendy,  I am curious about this - are you sure that the presenter was saying that "few could go through a formal critiquing process?"  Or possibly was the presenter saying that most people are not developmentally ready to do so yet?

I had a class with Abigail Housen when she was at Mass Art (she is a wonderful person), and the crux of her work, from what I remember, is that people go through developmental stages of visual readiness;  as many people do not look  very much at art, (part of the reason being that museums are designed to present work to higher level viewers, hence alienating many potential viewers), they are stuck at a beginning level - her goal was for museums to be aware of this and to present work in such a way that they would reach many different levels of viewers, making art and aesthetic growth more accessible.  Maybe your presenter was just lousy.

I went through the training process to code work - I was sent out into the field and had people talk into a microphone, transcribed what they said, and rated them as viewers.  It was fascinating how your could tell the level of a viewer by using such analytical means.  While I still talk about formal elements in my classroom, I know that the primary way that most of my students will react to work is by experiencing it as narrative (I teach at the elementary level). - Also, during a higher order thinking class which had nothing to do with Abigail Housen's work, one of the major strategies was listening to children, then asking them what they thought, and why.  I do present information, but I also try to engage my students in this type of very challenging thinking.

Cynthia, South of Boston
 
 
 
 
 
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