I am a college student who is about to graduate
with my endorsement in art education. I have recently
been to a school doing some observation and got into a
heated discussion over whether or not it is acceptable
for junior high and high school students to use
sources in their own work. An example might be
painting a bear that the students found a photo of in
a National Geographic magazine. What the students are
doing is not copyright infringement because their
works are not identical to their sources. They are
only using the sources as a form of inspiration from
which they can grow. The teacher I was in the
argument with claimed that in is unethical as an art
teacher to allow students to do this. I strongly
disagree with her. I feel that if you want to paint,
draw, or sculpt something, you have to be able to look
at it. However, when you are restricted to a certain
classroom or community, this is not possible. By
using sources, and documenting them with the works, I
feel that it allows the students to expand their
creativeness and explore a wide variety of things
through their art.
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