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RE: NAEA list of names

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ejb35_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Nov 19 2000 - 11:28:23 PST


Marcy:

E. Jane Beckwith
I teach in a Magnet art program in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City.
Middle School 6-8. After school program two times a week for two or
three hours for serious students. My art practice includes painting
and photography. I teach graphic design at the college level, and also
English at the same college.

I would be interested to hold a meeting at my house in Brooklyn for
teachers interested in the issue of censorship in contemporary art
classrooms. This is a topic I have presented to the list and have
gotten excellent and helpful feedback that has assisted me with papers
I am writing for my doctorate at Columbia. NYC has so many fun things
to do that most people may have other things they want to do during
free time, but we could combine said meeting with food and a trip to
the Brooklyn Museum...maybe on the last day of the conference. Anyone
else interested in the topic welcome, whether you have responded to
the topic or not. From the list and other teachers I have interviewed,
my findings indicate a chilly climate in most classrooms for
issues-oriented art lessons that bring up difficult subject matter,
encourage thoughtful exploration of hard topics. Exceptions for
schools (usually private) where the parents and administrators expect
such topics to be explored ( drugs, gangs, sex, gender identity,
violence -- including domestic violence -- something the list has had
to contemplate recently). Even colleges, dependent as they are on
outside funding, will permit censorship or discourage open expression
of arts that focus on societal ills or personal self exploration
around sexual issues that might upset funders, trustees, and the
student/faculty body. As many of the above subjects are the very
concerns of young people alive today, there is a disconnect between
what we say we want students to know and understand so that they can
make wise decisions (higher order thinking skills) and what they are
allowed to express in the arts that demonstrates that they are trying
to sort out what they believe about these difficult topics. Sorry for
the long reply. Cut if you want, but I'd love to meet some of the
people on the list who have been so thoughtful and so helpful. Thanks
for assembling the list, gathering more information on attendees, and
I hope to see you a