Quick questions for you. If you have a moment, I'd appreciate your
This will be used to assist some undergraduate art ed students who are
researching how the standards impact art instruction.
I'm retired now. I was teaching full time till two years ago.
Last year I did not teach but remained on as lead art teacher
assisting in things like inservices.
1. Does your state have academic standards for teaching art?
Yes, Kansas has state standards for teaching visual art.
My district also had standards/benchmarks in art based upon
the national and state standards.
2. Have you had training in using the standards? If yes, where?
Art teachers in our district wrote the standards/benchmarks
and we had extensive training on them.
3. Are you required by your school or district to use your state
for each lesson?
We are expected to follow the local standards/benchmarks in preparation
of our lessons.
4. Regardless of school/district requirements, do you use the standards
I always claimed that I taught above and beyond the standards. I posted the
local standards/benchmarks on the classroom wall with pictures of students
working on problems related to them. I used the display to discuss teaching
of art with administrators who would come into class to monitor and observe
5. Do you think that your state standards are too prescriptive? Too
Just about right?
They (the local standards/benchmarks) were broad by definition but if a teacher
tried to follow the local standards/benchmarks and the accompanying indicators
closely I believe their teaching would become too tight. Art and the
Art should allow for a great amount of freedom and creativity. If we are
what we wish students to be able to do we should not be perceived as teaching
from a receipt box.
When I left the classroom I had an opportunity to speak to the school board.
I told them they needed to do only three things to insure success.
1 - Hire teachers who know their stuff.
2 - Hire teachers who love kids.
3 - Hire teachers who have a passion for what they teach.
And then get out of the way and let them teach.