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Lesson Plans

Elliot Eisner and DBAE

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 10:28:30 -0600 (CST)

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Hi, all!

I just spent three days at the National Association for Gifted Children
annual convention here in Indianapolis, and I was privileged to hear Elliot
Eisner speak - he was wonderful!! I can't imagine anyone who would less fit
the description of "rigid" nor do I believe the DBAE people intend the
program to be viewed as a "do it our way or else" proposition. I even asked
that question at the Cincinatti seminar once, and the answer I received was
pretty accepting. I think the point they are trying to make is that any
"good" art program should incorporate all four elements in some way, and
that there is far more to art than "pumpkins in October"! (Speaking of
which, before one of my presentations, I met a woman who was headmistress of
a new, small private school who was looking for ways to help her art
teacher. This teacher was fresh out of college and did not seem to have a
clue about lesson ideas. She had been handing out crayons every period, and
the headmistress finally suggested she try something different - like what
about a nice Halloween project? So the teacher handed out orange and black
construction paper and proceeded to show the kids how they could make holes
in the orange paper for the jack-o-lanterns black eyes to show through. I
had a serious talk with the headmistress - fortunately, she not only
attended my session on Sycamore's art program, but she happens to be
visiting the school in a couple of weeks - I wish she'd bring the art
teacher! Where did this girl go to school? Even the most rigid DBAE program
would be better than this!) I don't "do" DBAE the way the Getty models
suggest, and I have never gotten anything other than positive feedback from
my experiences with the Getty people. I think as in any other aspect of
education, you have to shape your class in a way that works with your
teaching style and personality and strengths, but I can't imagine a quality
PROGRAM which doesn't IN SOME WAY touch upon criticism, history, production
and aesthetics. You might have classes within a program which are
specialized, but any production course is going to automatically raise
questions of criticism and aesthetics, and critical skills require knowledge
of theory and culture. To me, that's what DBAE is all about.

Eileen Prince
Sycamore School

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