What is important to us NOW? How do the changes that have taken place in
education for example brain-based research or increased classroom diversity
in every town not just large cities, and financial cut-backs effect art NOW?
I liked the approach to the talk about integration but it shouldn't be a
battle of whether or not we should integrate content (or how to spell it!)
but a discussion about experiences and how.
Let me be so bold as to state my opinion about where we stand as art
educators NOW in today's educational climate: We need to find a way that we
can demonstrate the universal need ALL students have for our instruction. We
can't sit back anymore and understand it ourselves as artists and expect
parents and school boards to take our word for it. We also cannot preserved
the elusiveness or nebulousness of being an artist because it as what makes
us "special " people. That frame of mind has made the public afraid of
art/artists. We need to be able to demonstrate in an observable way how each
and every student is more successful in their LIFE, in other content area,
and will be more successful in general because of what they learn in art.
I teach art in high school where it is an elective coming out of a trimester
middle school system that schedules ONE trimester per year in 6, 7 , 8 grade
for art. They do however have music ALL year EVERY year during that time!
I have had to figure out how to make art valuable to kids and parents just
to keep my program alive! Seven years ago there were 120 students now we
have 540! Not one teacher but three!
So I'd like to encourage everyone to talk about realties in education today
not personal beliefs that cannot be supported in today's climate. I'm tired
of the old rhetoric! We never did solve any problems with it so let's talk
creatively and look for new solutions.
Seen the AUG/SEPT issue of Psych Today? Great articles on creativity. Then
check out Discovery magazine this month - a whole issue on creativity.
Science is showing people they need us! If we don't start focusing and
speaking about the teaching of creativity specifically and from an informed
scientific standpoint some one else in our schools will be teaching it and we
will be left talking about how we "apply it" and how "we've always been doing
that"! Have we? I think only in an indirect way and through intuition. We
have the chance now to convince "them" with research and tighten and hone
what we do so we are the hub of education - not a frill!
I LOVE what I do and I'm excited by the future. Things are changing don't
dig in your heels, the past wasn't that great!
Hope some of you want to talk about this!