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Lesson Plans

Re: Art and Spontaneity

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Jane Shiflett Manner (jmanner)
Sat, 30 Oct 1999 19:14:28 -0400

At 06:07 PM 10/30/99 -0400, you wrote:
>...By the time of adolescence, the child recognizes that his or her skills
are not well enough developed to create the complex images that come to
mind spontaneously and visual creativity stops....I think that if we as art
teachers were more conscientious about developing art "skills" throughout
out the preK-12th grade curriculum, many more people would be able to be
express themselves through visual media and do so with gusto and

Thank you!

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they discuss art
education. E-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n from educare, "to bring up". The spontaneity
of a three year old is not and should not be the same as the spontaneity of
a 16 year old. (Though Picasso voiced a desire at 45 to draw like a child,
this creative genius did, in fact, have a sequential and rigorous art
education!) Many in our society and some in our profession think that
giving children the materials and an atmosphere where they can do whatever
their little hearts desire is what art education is about. If that were so
almost anyone could "teach" art; it would take no training and require no

This is not what art education is, though, and we as a profession need to
make that known more often. The skills-mental and technical-that students
need to put those spontaneous ideas into a 2 or 3-dimensional form can and
should be taught and learned. We espouse the "problem solving" techniques
that art education offers students and then we mamby-pamby about
spontaneity in a way that makes intellectual growth and skill development
in art seem like a detrimental thing instead of learning.