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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kathleen McCrea (kwmccrea)
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 09:03:54 -0500

Recently Terry Barrett at Ohio State University mentioned
her desire to begin a dialogue on the subject of past personal
experiences with critiques. I sent her the following, and she
asked that I share it. She would like a dialogue on this subject.
I think this would be beneficial for many of us.
My husband and I both got our undergraduate degrees in the
60's. During this time period, it was fashionable for critiques to
be extremely harsh, sort of public humiliation events. I learned
beneficial design conepts, formalistic concerns from these
critiques, but I learned many things that were detrimental in the
process. I avoided going back and taking additional studio classes
for a number of years just to avoid critiques. Eventually I got a
Masters in Art Education; the local universitiy wouldn't let
students work toward an MFA unless they were full time students.
(I think this is another topic for discussion!) My husband who has
an MFA in art had similar critique experiences; he avoids certain
media thanks to his critique expereinces in those area!
As a result of our experiences, we try to make sure that in
critiques with our students we have our own students look for
positive attributes in each student's work. I feel that this is
not artificial, although sometimes difficult. We also make
suggestions for improvement in each student's work. Sometimes we
hold critiques in which only positive remarks are allowed. I have
had several students tell me that the critique experience was one
of the most valuable things they learned in high school art classes
and that dealing with college critiques was much easier as a
I wonder if extremely negative critiques were the rule of
thumb through a certain time period.
Kay McCrea
Wichita High School South
Wichita, Kansas