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Re: [teacherartexchange] art as dumping ground

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 23 2006 - 10:43:39 PST


On Nov 19, 2006, at 10:12 PM, ejb35@columbia.edu wrote:

>
> Some understand that students who have difficulty with academics can
> find success in art. They might be thinking of all the different
> kinds of learners there are (a la Gardner). You may be having
> conversations in your school about your responsibility to reach all
> the different learners presented to you.
>
>
> Your art programs might be experiencing a backlash that has less to
> do with what art is and isn't than with the education environment
> today.
>
> What role can the visual arts play at this time? it is easy to feel
> dissed, dispensable, and defensive. My advice for this particular
> time in history is to find some ways you can show good faith with
> your superiors and suggest projects that interact with the major
> subjects. Not all the time. Sometimes.
>
> We can hope that art will gain its place in the curriculum and be
> valued for its own reasons one day, as it has been in the past. But
> don't hold your breath. Look at the history of art in schools and
> you will find it has always mostly had a tough go.
>

Often, very often, I am glad that art is the dumping ground.
Where else do kids get the opportunity to free express and so often
get the place to find the place that they can't find anywhere else?
I had parent conferences this week, and so often, I had parents
telling me about how happy they are to have this place for
expression. A place that is not driven by test scores.
There has been lots of discussion on these lists about justification
and meeting standards and all I can think is what baloney it is when
we get right down to the nitty -gritty of art. All the
opportunities to present all the ways and means of making art should
only make us at the forefront of all the "isms' and differentiations
and assessments. If we try to fall into the uninformed expectations
of laws and histories, then we fail to meet what is essential in the
art experience-- seeing and believing in what CAN be.

When we allow those students "so-called" dumped into art , to have
freedom without constraint , then we can actually see the magic
moments and light bulbs and maybe

maybe
we will be less concerned about failure than we are about success and
maybe reconsider what success in art is.

I think I'm thankful that art is dumped upon. I think sometimes
my biggest joys are the students who didn't think they are artists
find a means to make an expression.
What we have to believe in is our ability to include all and not
pigeon -hole any of the "dumped" into a place where they will only
fell less than adequate. We have enough of that in our system. I
can only believe that all students, dumped or not, can find art as a
place to BE.

I'm thankful on this day that I see all kinds of students with all
kinds of issues and that I give the choice for them to find a way to
make art a place to be.

"Dumped in" can be a good thing. Many of us survive on numbers
dumped. And when the student doesn't respond-- Just turn it around
and make it work.

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Patty

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