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Lesson Plans

Re: Art tests

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 21 Nov 1998 23:40:40 EST

Sandra wrote:

> <<We don't teach Art just to give kids wonderful
> creative experiences -- we expect them to learn something as well. The
> best way to see if they've learned it is to design interesting problems
> for them to solve -- which is really a type of test.>>

and Fred replied:

> I'm confused by the way you pose the two alternatives: a wonderful creative
> experience on the one hand, learning something on the other. I always
> that the best way to see if my students had learned something was to see if
> THEY could design interesting problems to solve -- which is really their
> Was I wrong?

<And Maggie wrote:

<Not wrong, just misinterpreting what Sandra wrote. She's not posing two
<she's expecting them to have a creative experience AS WELL AS learning
<I'm not so sure the average student is capable of designing problems on his
own the
<way a professional artist does; to me, part of teaching is to design problems
for <them
<to interpret and solve in a creative manner. Of course, there are a very few
<who are already capable of working independently, creating their own
<("problems") and working through them, while learning new media and
techniques. <Those
<get to work on independent study in my classes.

Dear Maggie,

Not wrong or a misinterpretation, Maggie. Just being ironic. And the fact that
you missed the point is embodied in your own response: "...a creative
experience AS WELL AS learning something." I have always hoped that in my
classroom these are not two different experiences. Of course, as a teacher, I
offer problems to solve and directions to take. But so do my students. What do
your tests measure in this regard that their work fails to demonstrate? Why
do you make the requirement that your students design problems the way a
professional artist does? Why is that the goal? My students pose questions,
design problems, take their work in a direction thats meaningful to them, the
way THEY do it. They're not "professional artists" (whatever that means in
regard to designing problems to only "professionals" design
meaningful problems?). They're students, who, in my experience, are frequently
working independently, posing questions, finding's just that
often they are posing questions that are different then mine, finding answers
that are different than mine and (here's the part that can seem so
"threatening") working independently of me! I think thats a good thing but how
do your tests measure it?