Our school district does not (in reality) support the visual arts in K-6
elementary. (support is via lip-service) There is only one elementary school
(out of 11) which has an art specialist and that was based on an on-site
decision among parents, administrators and teachers.
So, the focus in elementary has shifted to including art as a part of the
social studies curriculum....for example Pacific Rim countries are studied in
4th grade and art projects are done around the visual art of the particular
country....China=paper making or block printing for example. The instruction
is done by regular classroom teachers who most often do not focus on, or
understand, the design elements and principles (P's & E's), they merely
follow the instructions for the project and then move on to something else
(history, geography, etc) pertaining to the country.
My argument with the district is that this alone, is not an adaquate art
education. The students are being taught projects alone (follow the recipe)
and emphasis or instruction on the P's and E's, is being overlooked and not
included in the lesson. My point is that students should learn the P's and
E's, and by knowing them, the artwork from any country is then better
understood and created within the context of art education (not social
studies). Those of us in the district who fight for the visual arts in K-6
are left with the district saying, "We do teach visual art K-6. See all the
neat multicultural projects on the school walls as evidence of their learning
A quality art education is being overshadowed by the multicultural education.
I hope this is a bit clearer. I am not high on verbal intelligence, rather
visual-spatial myself....and I have had a few drinks here at our artsy