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Re: art isn't a real subject

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From: Aaron Hopkins (hopkiaar_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Nov 12 2002 - 10:38:07 PST


If something cannot be taught or learned, why do it, right? That's typical. I would agree that people to have tendencies and interests that lead them in a particular field of knowledge or skill. But that is EXACTLY what art is. It is knowledge and skill. Both can be learned and refined. I usually give a sports analogy to my students since they seem to be very interested in sports. I ask them if they play a particular sport and if they are good. I ask them if they have always been that good or have they gotten better, and if they want to be better than they are now. To be a good basketball player, you need to have skills (dribbling, passing, shooting, quickness, jumping ability, etc.) All of those skills can be refined through...practice ( a concept most lazy kids don't want to even think about!). Same with art. You need skills like using various materials and methods (everywhere from centering a piece of clay on a wheel to painting with watercolors to drawing from observation). Another thing you
 need to be a good basketball player is knowledge. You need to know the rules, various types of plays (give and go, pick and roll, the fade - away, etc.). In art you need knowledge as well. Art history, ways to use materials, criticism, and aesthetics. It seems to me that your student is not interested in art, and that is the main reason he or she dismisses art as "not a real subject". Most kids realize that art is not an easy task and if they are perfectionists, that makes it even worse. They want a great artwork without putting in practice and learning. Of course today's situation with art education doesn't help. Some students never get the experience of having art in their elementary schools or if they do its only once or twice a month! How exactly is a student supposed to learn and build skills with that type of schedule? So it is up to the parents and family to support the skills and knowledge for art.
yikes...i went on and on...
aaron

>>> Occasm@aol.com 11/06/02 05:25PM >>>
Hello all,
I'm sure many of you have dealt with this, but maybe you could rehash it a
bit for a newbie.
   A wise aleck 8th grader, who I've had discipline problems with before,
told me today that art wasn't a "real" subject. In a non-confrontational
manner I asked him why he believed this. His response, "because math,
science, etc, you can learn to be good at, art you can't.
   I'm wondering how many of you out there would respond to this,

mike sacco
new to jr. high

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