Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans

Re: RESPONSE TO "artists and art education"

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
John A. Labadie (LABADIE)
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 11:34:33 EST5EDT

> Subject: Re: artists and art education

> wrote:
> >
> > Hello to all on the list,
> > I'd like to pose a general question to the list. Were you an art
> > education major in college/university? If so, were you "looked down" upon
> > by other "serious" art majors -- those working on a BFA or MFA? Have you
> > had instances of having college or university professors in studio areas,
> > or "professional" artists stating opinions denigrating the art education
> > degree or art education as it's generally perceived in the public schools?
> >
> > I read with interest Terry Barrett's questions and the responses
> > from the lists about critique experiences. I wonder how many of you who
> > responded were at the time of the critique, and were known to be by the
> > professor, art education majors? Recently an art education graduate
> > student at our college had occasion to be talking, in a social situation,
> > to an instructor of art at a local university. The art education graduate
> > student, who views her chosen career very seriously, was quite taken aback
> > with the opinions voiced by the art professor about the value of art
> > educators and art education. So, I'm just curious about other's views...
> >
> > Tommye Scanlin
> > Professor of Art
> > North Georiga College
> > Dahlonega, GA 30597


Do not recall seeing this post. But want to respond to it now. I've
been graduated from BFA work for nearly 25 years, so my experiences
are not those of *now* but have historical validity nonetheless.

A. Were art ed. majors looked down on by fine arts/studio majors?

Answer. With out a doubt "yes." I attended an art institute for two
years and then transfered to a small private university were i
received a studio degree in painting. Those persons involved in art
education were (at that time) certainly looked at, by us, as majoring
in something less substantial than studio majors. I recall
thinking/feeling that much of what i saw and heard about art ed at
that time seemed "fluffy" and lacking in serious content.

B. Some years after receiving my bachelor's, I then taught art at the
K-12 level 11 years in several different educational contexts.
Based on this expereince, my sense is that "yes" art educators are
held in less esteem that those persons who are degreed in and
practice studio art. Even had one superintendent tell me that he
thought that art eductors had majored in "how to" rather than in
"what" art was about. He was, BTW, very supportive of the arts and
had gone to great lengths to get visiting artists into the schools in
his district ... this in in Ohio.

C. In my interdisciplinary doctoral work, at the College of Design,
Architecture, Art and Planning at the Univ. of Cincinnati (the
program is now dismantled), we were required to have a studio
degree as well as substantial teaching experience in order to enter
the program. UC early on (1984) embraced DBAE and went into an
interdisciplinary mode with its graduate students. My MA work
fcocused on perceptual psychology and i had certified in art ed
during my master's program. Given this background my sense was, and
is, that it is entirely inappropriate to have art teachers major in
education. If they have not gotten studio experience that is
substantially coequal with studio art majors then they have (with
very few exceptions) they have no business trying to educate students
about studio art. (This studio parity does exists with art and art ed
majors here at UNCP.) And in spite of all DBAE and PoMo concerns
about whatever, we can all look around us and know that art education
is still primarily about making art.

The bottom line for me is something like this ... after being involved
in art making and art teaching since the 1960's i'm simply tired of
the educational theory de jour approach to teaching anything.

I hope that none of the above sounds harsh or intolerant. But i do
sincerely believe that many, if not most, schools of education are run
for the benefit of theorists and graduate students who will replace
them rather than for those good folks who are there to prepare
themselves to go out and do art-related things with our children on
a daily basis.

Regards, John

Dr. John Antoine Labadie
Dept. of Art
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
PO Box #1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510

Wphone: 910.521.6618 (or sec. at 6216)
Fax: 910.521.6162
Hphone: 910.645.6509

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.