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Re: [teacherartexchange] Best Practices


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Oct 18 2008 - 15:17:53 PDT

On Oct 16, 2008, at 8:11 PM, San D Hasselman wrote:

> Best practices is a general catch all term that sounds quite
> formulaic. From my 33+ years of teaching, I have found that that
> your "best practice" is what works for you, and may not work for
> someone else. When I mentor student teachers and new teachers, my
> concern is that they know their subject, have a handle on how to
> handle kids, have a passion for what they are teaching, and use
> their gut to read the moment. My best practices change from class
> to class, group of students to group of students. Throw in the day
> to day "stuff" that happens to kids, and to teachers, from fire
> drills to guidance passes (obviously I teach HS) to adolescent
> angst, a good teacher has to 'read' the class to be able to share
> what they know. I have read every book possible on 'best
> practices', have taken workshops in both educational jargon, and
> art techniques and have even taught a few over the years. Bottom
> line, if you don't know your subject matter, and can't read kids,
> you are sunk. You can learn to write lesson plans in any format,
> you can learn to map your curriculum, order supplies with a limited
> budget, and teach new subjects on demand. But if you don't have a
> passion and urgency to know your subject, and you don't have a clue
> about kids, you can read all of the best practices books you want,
> you won't be able to implement any of them. IMHO
San D is wise

For years I have been a curriculum /department leader. For years I
have researched and researched for new and inventive ideas and
methods, and I can only say
I see all kinds of stuff that is a rehash and hardly innovative and
it only boils down to what San D. says-- personal passion.

I think "best practices" has no place in an art curriculum. To me
that would indicate everybody doing the same of some kind of
something. Is not art about deviating and creating something new?
I would like to see our best practices be about how we create
thinking strategies that question the practices. And I don't see that
much. If there is any course in any school curriculum that provides
the opportunity for getting kids to realize their potential as
communicators --it is art. The outside world has no clue as to what
is best practice. Art is naive and native and only needs nurturing.

Best practice is just what San D says -- you are trained as a
teacher, you read the situation, you monitor and adjust. I came to
teaching after many years as a practicing artist. I took me a few
years to realize that that the best practice was not so much about
the art but about the teaching. What are the skills in art????? Those
skills are about observing, analyzing and translating. Our best
practices should be about that, with legitimate assessment to
determine , and recognizing that those objectives can be accomplished
in varied forms.

Best practice is about creating an atmosphere of freedom that
accommodates individual needs. and gives the most opportunities for
the development of student expression.


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