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Lesson Plans

Re: if I play is that OK???

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Teresa Tipton (
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 10:42:51 -0700 (PDT)

The real problem I have with art teachers is that they talk too much
period. Sometimes the intellectual constructs which dissect the world and
words into this and that, either or, yes and no, good and bad, trivializes
the real meaning of questions and responses. If we explained and analyzed
less perhaps there would be more art. And perhaps we, as teachers/artists
would also do more art. Which is not to say don't analyze!

But this position of concern based upon assumed fear of program reduction
somehow misses the point of the question, and perhaps has missed the point
of connecting art with play. How terribly unplayful!

Art education has been in the position of justifying itself for over
twenty-five years in american public schools, and in case anyone cares to
notice, more programs are being cut than are being supported with
increased teachers, classtime for students, and funding. So all of our
words have somehow failed in this most basic of battles for a rightful
place in the education of the whole child/student/adult.

What do you have to lose? Why not be daring, bold, provocative, eccentric,
and unconventional in how you promote art? Maybe art as play will redirect
physical education budgets to the arts.

play on!
teresa tipton

On Mon, 16 Sep 1996

> Dear dabssw,
> Of course art is play. With the right approach and some knowledge, even
> mathematics is play. But I think there are problems with art teachers
> talking too much about the play part, though. There are problems with how
> the frivolous sound of the word 'play' impacts on the politics of the
> situation. If we emphasize the play part, our programs might be in danger
> of reduction, to make way for more serious studies. So when we rationalize
> why and explain how we teach what we do, lets talk about the essential
> tools and skills we art teachers must impart to the next generation. The
> truth of the matter is, people learn best while playing. So when we talk
> to the next generation, lets just introduce the games and play. If we do
> our jobs well, they'll learn without even being aware of it.
> Mark Alexander
> 1-8 art teacher
> Lee H. Kellogg School
> Falls Village, CT
> On 9/16 dabssw wrote:
> >Is art play? Before you all take a gasp of air at this as a possible thought,
> >please take a moment read on and think in a broad context.
> >Is there a part of art that might be play?
> >If there is a part of art that is play, what part is it?
> >Is there anything wrong in part or all of art being play?
> >Isn't it possible to learn through play?
> >Can play touch and open alternative areas of thought and so increase
> >creativity?
> >Play is enjoyment, fun, exploration, research, and daring to go beyond.
> >Thank you.