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re: displaying student work


Date: Wed Oct 04 2000 - 18:39:59 PDT

To clearify my point...this parent's idea of art education is that only the
non-academic students excel. I have many special needs students who do
extremely well in art. I agree that those students are able to excel in the
less structured environment that the art room offers. However, my most
gifted students are quite frankly the students who are considered high
achievers and who are highly motivated. These students are able to problem
solve at a higher level, their solutions to art problems are innovative and
they bring a broader vocabulary and understanding to discussion of artwork
and art concepts.

This parent...and quite frankly those who would continue to beat this drum
are still putting art in a place of "non-intelligence", treating it as a
non-academic subject, a special or cultural. Nice to have if you can afford
it but completely unnecessary. I think all of us on this list would agree
that the arts are an essential part a student's basic education and that
students do not receive enough art rather than the reverse.

Is it possible to educate this parent....perhaps...and the millions more like
her....perhaps. But....when she considers that what I teach has little value
to her child (needless to say she does not consider her child to be one of
the "non-achievers") there is very little I can do to change her mind. Not
when I teach in two schools and put in 15 hours days doing PR (aka hanging
art). I have only been teaching one year and already am sick from the
complete disregard that public education holds for the arts. And...the
honest truth is...if you asked anyone in our school district...they would say
they are completely supportive...and the really sad thing is...comparatively
speaking...they are!