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Lesson Plans

Re: the value of certification?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Maggie White (mwhite)
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 17:38:24 -0700

Sandra Hildreth wrote:

> One could be an
> extremely talented artist, knowledgeable and skillful in many
> techniques, with a strong art history background - and be lousy at
> "teaching". Or, one could be a skillful motivational speaker and great
> at managing groups of children - but have such a weak art background
> that virtually no learning takes place about art. The process of
> certification certainly does not guarantee a successful teacher, but
> those of us involved in teacher education programs do at least make a
> serious effort at it.

Sandy echoed my sentiments. I won't spend my budget on an Artist-in-Residence because
of this very thing. The ones I've seen tend to be very wrapped up in the work, with
little commentary or explanation to the kids. Remember the old saw, "Those who can, do;
those who can't, teach."? Well, those who "can" (as in professional artists) can't
often teach!

> As far as the comment about an ineffective
> university professor in the seventies, remember please that people who
> teach at the university level usually have subject area degrees, not
> education degrees. Many have not taken any methods courses, and have not
> gone through any kind of certification program. Some become excellent
> teachers; some just remain subject area experts.

My grad school alma mater, which shall remain nameless (hint: there's a bunch of their
students on the list these days), stuck the Art Ed dept. in the basement of a building
separate from the rest of the Art dept. At one point while I was there, the studio
faculty was beginning to realize that many of the studio graduate students weren't very
effective as teachers in the undergrad studio classes. They promptly started
researching ways and holding seminars to correct this, never bothering to ask the Art Ed
faculty for help. Essentially they were re-inventing the wheel--they'd discovered...ART
EDUCATION! Though I'm sure they would never have called it that.