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Lesson Plans

Re: Questions About Art Revisited

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craig roland (rol1851.EDU)
Sat, 30 Nov 1996 19:25:49 -0500

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To Bob, Becky and Deborah:

Just watched Florida State beat Florida. . .bummer :^(

Thought I'd check my email and was surprised to discover that my brief
message last night generated some thought and dialogue.

Bob wrote:

>I feel the need to mention that our first assumptions involving their
>meaning may not be sufficient when looking at the art projects done by young
>students. For example, working with middle and high school aged kids usually
>requires that we take a much broader perspective when we consider the value
>or worth placed upon their attempts at art making.

...BIG snip.

.....For many children, the art room in their school is the only place
>where they will have a chance to experience the various kinds of learning
>which should come with traditional creative play. Today the question, " Was
>it worth doing?" takes on a larger meaning as we look at the efforts of our
>students in the art room.

Well said...I agree completely. You know I didn't really intend to make
the connection you did here Bob with applying the question "was it worth
doing?" to kids' art work and efforts in the artroom. But, now that you
did...and so does make me consider the implications of this
question for kids' work. My original intent was to "add" this question to
the list we generated as a group here at the beginning of the year (i.e.,
questions we might ask kids about the art they see in class (slides,
prints, etc.,) and out in museums, galleries etc.,).

For me, working with college students (both majors and non-majors) in a
studio setting I do raise this question in crits and when evaluating their
work from time to time. But, I realize that (as with younger kids in art
classrooms) often times "what they are trying to achieve" is to "solve the
problem I set up for them." Thus, the question of "did they succeed?" is
determined by such factors as the intent/objectives of the
lesson/assignment Thus, in the context of teaching...I must ask myself
the question "was it worth doing" this project or assignment?

Which brings me back to the issue of deciding as a teacher "what's worth
teaching?" In addition to questioning what it is I teach my students (you
there Bunki? ;^)), I've spent alot of time in the schools this semester.
In my position, as an "outsider" its easy for me to overlook the kinds of
things you brought up Bob and to simply pass judgement..."No, that's not
worth teaching...Nor is that...or that." I appreciate your insight here.

I guess my point is (if I have one?) is that I do think we need to take a
hard look at the kinds of things we're teaching and doing with kids (at all

So little much to teach.


CRAIG ROLAND. Associate Professor-Art Education.
Department of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida.
32611-5801. (352) 392-9165 - Art Ed Office (352) 392-8453 - Fax

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