Why not have your students research Van Gogh's work and life,
report their findings, and compare and make judgments about the
veracity of different sources? It would be a thought-provoking
art history lesson. We don't have to have all the answers and we
can learn along with our students.
One of the most recent articles we have on file in our PTA picture program
about Van Gogh and the ear is that they now think that he had Meniere's
disease--which produced a constant ringing in his ear and is enough to depress
and drive one "crazy" There are so many things that are stories, things that
"experts believe" I make sure that students see that phrase when it appears
in text and that they comprehend that very little in stories of the past,
called hiSTORY is FACT; rather, someone with a particular hypothesis or
point of view(prejudice, if you will) has searched for and collected certain
facts that they have chosen to print while also choosing to omit others.
I remember my sixth grade teacher, whom I adored, giving us our whole year of
social studies by beginning each lesson with: "I had this very strange dream
last night about (the subject matter)"--we loved it and learned!
Judy in Jersey
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 305100, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
940/565-3986 FAX 940/565-4867