In response to the two schools of thought listed below. I have worked with a
teacher who believed children should be allowed to discover everything
themselves. If this teacher had taught math...the students would have had to
invent the multiplication tables themselves!!!
Another person I worked with told me that there are some things that you just
shouldn't have to discover for yourself. I guess I think of it as some sort
of art legacy that is passed along from artist to artist. Think of all the
things we pass along to each other here. Imagine if there were no resources
for art curriculum and ideas....if you had to reinvent each year's curriculum
all by yourself. Imagine how closed in and redundant your curriculum could
become if you did not have outside resources, if you did not learn from
I have to say, I do a little (make that a lot) of both...but when I feel it
is appropriate. For instance, I have been teaching figure drawing to 5th
graders using the 7 1/2 heads for proportion. I told them at the beginning
of the lesson, this is a A WAY, it is not THE WAY! I am showing it to you,
because you have asked how you can do this. This is a way to use your body
(or your figure's body...hehe) to figure out where every thing goes. I am
showing it to you....because you are already so comfortable using drawing as
an art tool and an art medium!
With this tool, when students come to me and say "such and such doesn't look
right" I can say, well where should the arms fall? How wide should the
shoulders be? ETC...this gives the students power to "fix" what they are
just some food for thought!
In a message dated 11/1/01 2:00:16 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Dear Marvin,
I agree with you that drawing from memory, imagination or from observation
increases active thinking. However, how long would it take a child to
discover for himself or herself the principles of spatial perspective, or
the relationship of the bones and muscles to the face, just by drawing from
observation? Anyone can set an apple in front of a child and say, "Draw."
But it takes a trained art teacher to be able to communicate the art
elements and art principles in such a way that the child's expressive
vocabulary increases to the point where the child is happy with his or her