Sharon, I, too, am concerned with the direction our educational system is going. I am forever the optimist, so think that sooner or later, the rest of the populace will know what all art teachers know- that art is relevant, important, and necessary if we are to know who we are and enrich our lives.
I am writing though, to take what you said one step further. I think the american public is being primed to accept vouchers- Think about how the mandates have affected the regular classroom. Also, how every child is included, no matter if it is most appropriate, least appropriate, or not appropriate at all.
Children come with "body guards' if necessary before they are denied access to the regular classroom. As a parent, those small classes of 'normal'kids in private schools are going to start to seem like the only option for the many functional families who truly are trying to raise a productive, responsible child. This may not be coming out like I am intending. I am not against inclusion, for example. I am against inclusion without the appropriate supports in place or putting children in the most cost effective environment as opposed to what is truly the most productive and nurturing environment for a child.( I think nurturing is KEY in education) I feel that teachers are expected to teach with their hands tied. People will be thinking, hey- I have lost faith in public education,and look to vouchers as a way out.- and the gov't will have very effectively defined the social class structure without apprearing to have done anything but give the people'what they want". This system insures that those with money and power, will remain so. Like I said, I am forever the optimist, and I do think that eventually, people will see what the government mandates are creating. I have also been thinking about "ser-vice learning"- what a wonderful thing- but what happens if it becomes mandated and there are not enough opportunities for all of the kids to participate? Maybe a way for those who don't get the 'good' service learning opportunities, but still need to fullfil that requirement, could be to serve in the armed forces for awhile...............................food for thought.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sharon Henneborn
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 9:47 AM
Subject: Teaching art is important to us then so is the politic that addresses it / Put away your hankies
I want to agree that we need to be concerned that we hold our writings to what is making an impact on the teaching of art.