> Does anybody else out there have this problem? I am an elementary art
> teacher 1-6, it's the ninth week of school and I have yet to teach ANY of my
> curriculum to grades 3-5 because of one stupid poster contest after another
> that I am "required" to do.
> It is so frustrating and my students have picked up on my lack of enthusiasm
> for these projects. I've been trying to keep up my enthusiasm and tried to
> tie the projects in w/ a little art history and some of the elements, but
> they are just so BORING!!! If I have to watch the stupid video on preventing
> violence in school one more time I'll scream! (so be listening for it today
> at 12:20 CDT :P )
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I used to feel this way...but today's curriculum in art education involving
socially relevant topics as valid for content is helping to save the world from
itself. Visual literacy or knowing how an image affects your behavior (buying
a certain brand for example) and how the artist has manipulated you are
extremely important skills for young people to have. Artists/designers are
powerful individuals...art is powerful...and always has been.
Edmund Feldman has written about this over the years as a "social" reason for
making art (as opposed to "physical" and "personal")...ie art that is used to
convince or persuade us to feel or believe a certain way. Cahan and Kocur's
recent book Contemporary Art in a Multicultural Society has some absolutly
wonderful examples of artists who are changing
mass opinions and some terrific lesson plans.
These students are actually functioning as artists when they are trying to get
someone to change her/his mind about something. The assigned topics offer an
opportunity to incorporate some really strong and important concepts about art
and it's power.
-- Marianne Stevens Suggs Professor, Art Department Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608 suggsms fax: 828-262-6756 tel: 828-262-2220