My kids are the most depressed, disagreeable, hostile, aggrevated, and
negative kids imaginable. That is just one aspect of their disability (SED =
Severely Emotionally Disturbed). In my classes, negativity towards art is
ALWAYS a factor in the upper grades 8-12. Every semester, the first few days
are filled with comments to me about how art is stupid, boring, idiotic, and
they just HATE it. (So they say.)
When I first started teaching, this would really set me back and I would go
off into a long lecture about how important art is and its value to society.
Even I got bored with that! Now I do something very simple and it seems to
work even with my kids.
When they start complaining about art, I ask them questions like "Who
designed your shirt? Who designs all those CDs you buy? Who designs the
clothes for J-Lo? Brittney? Usher? Who designs the sets for all the videos on
MTV or VH1? Who designs sports stadiums and uniforms? Who designed the car
you want to buy? Who designed your house and everything in it?"
Of course, the answer to those questions is an ARTIST. So I then tell them if
you really think art is stupid, you shouldn't do or be interested in 99% of
all the things in your life.
They usually sit there for a minute to think about this, then we get to work.
I rarely hear anymore negative comments (unless a new kid shows up and I have
the other students explain to them why art is important using the above