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Re:[teacherartexchange] combined classes


From: Diane C. Gregory (dianegregory_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 05:42:52 PDT

This does sound like a realistic compromise. Setting a limit seems to be the
way to go with this. Some art teachers were reporting, however, that they had
over 30 students and one person reported having 36 students with multiple level
classes. Having 25 students in a class with multi levels seems manageable to
me. My concern is when classes get so large that effective teaching can not
happen. We need to encourage art teachers who have such overwhelming working
conditions (they will need to be the judge about what is overwhelming) to speak
up with a professional voice of concern, rather than remain silent. Whether one
works at the university level (my reality) or K-12, there are many overwhelming
working conditions in the practice of art education today. I can testify to
that having taught at both K-12 and university level. My idealism about our
profession faded away in the first five years of teaching and after over 25
years of teaching I would not characterize my views as idealistic. If they
were, I would be preoccupied with learning theories and curriculum
philosophies, rather than such practical matters as classroom size. It would
be interesting for K-12 teachers and higher education teachers to swap places.
I think both would have much to learn from that experience.

Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Director, Undergraduate & Graduate
Studies in Art Education
Texas Woman's University
Denton, TX  76204
Quoting J Well <>:
> Hello.  I've been reading the discussion about
> combined classes with interest.  As usual, the truth
> is wishy-washy (as my hero Charlie Brown has said).
> If Michal's situation is unique, then most of our
> situations are unique.  Blanket statements about sound
> education practices are lovely in university courses,
> but real world schools require that we make some
> compromises.
> For schools other than the largest, scheduling has
> become a labyrinth of required courses, honors
> courses, AP courses, and electives designed to meet
> the needs of the student population.  With the
> stipulation that administrations set an enrollment
> number limit on combined art studio classes (mine is
> 25) and a reasonable achievement prerequisite from the
> intro art studio class, I see no other way for my Art
> II or Art III candidates to successfully schedule
> their advanced art courses.  They are expected to be
> self-disciplined, highly motivated, and hardworking,
> and I am rarely disappointed.  Granted, this
> teaching/learning situation is not ideal.  It is a
> realistic compromise.  J.
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