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Lesson Plans

praise, question, propose

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Peggy Woolsey (woolspeg)
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 18:41:48 +0800

I have to admit I was triggered by the discussion and wrote pretty
much off the top of my head. I'll try to answer your questions...By
"instructors conversation" I meant the conversation currently being
conducted about the teaching abilities of studio instructors. I agree with
people who have already stated that many of these instructors did not know
how to teach. At the time I questioned this as did many other students.
Especially since the requirements for teaching in a regular class room are
so stringent. I got a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, a
school which was known for its mature student population! I am now in my
min-forties and have been an art teacher in both junior high and high
school. I am currently out of a job as New Brunswick, where I live is going
through educational reform which is hard on the arts. I started my masters
this Fall, but recently dropped out because I want more time in the studio.

Given the risk of sounding arrogant, I had a good deal more
experience in the buying and selling of art than did many of my university
instructors. Most of them were up and coming artists who had proven
themselves in some way, but their conceptions of their students' work were
often very limited within th confines of their own work. I remember a
fibers teacher being very hard on a 60 year old woman who's "conctruction"
held references seated in the second world war, in childbirth and
childrearing, in housewifery--none of which held much real meaning for the
instructor. Some of us "older" women found the piece very moving, but it
was dismissed out of hand in the critique. So then we just had to do what
we felt would get critiqued well,i.e. what the instructor was interested
About the woman instructor (by the way, the instructor referred to
above was also female) who encouraged me, I can only say that by her full
acceptance of me as a starting place, I was able to move ahead. And boy did
I move ahead. I trusted her so much that I was able to bring up my sexual
abuse issues through the painting. She was with me all the way. For some
reason I didn't get a great mark in her class (to this day I don't know
what her criterion was), but for once I didn't care. If I hadn't run into
this teacher, I think I would have rated my years at art school as a big

The male teachers I had consistently wanted us to work in their
particular styles. This I think is very immature. I was told my cup was
full, because I already had a style and it was theirs. They penalized me
for it. I guess it is an assumption that they were threatened. Perhaps to
simplisitic, but hey, it makes sense. I was not exhibiting much at the
time, but as I mentioned I had worked as an artist 10 years previous to art
school, mostly commercial work. I paint very slowly now, large complex
paintings based on media images. I admire Sue Coe. I hope to start
exhibiting again after the last three years of learning how to teach
myself. I have learned alot through teaching art to kids. Peggy

  • Maybe reply: Mcracker: "Re: praise, question, propose"