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>But statements of certainty about how the brain works, as if anyone knows for
>certain how the brain works, is a red-flag raiser to me. Its nothing more
>Dogmas demanding fidelity to theories about how children learn to read, do
>mathematics or draw have little value in classrooms of 20 to 40 very
>different children, all who are learning in very unique ways. What works
Fred, I think you are right on the money here. My experience with the kids
in drawing classes suggests that no one way of trying to communicate ideas
will serve more then a few of the kids. Only after working with them as
individuals for a while do we start to get a feel for their learning needs.
Alas, our best hope of explaining and guiding them in ways they can
understand hangs upon our ability to sense how they have learned to think
and grow in their previous learning experiences.
One of the problems we face as teachers in the visual arts involves the
heavy concentration of what some call "left brain" methods of teaching and
learning in the majority of courses as the kids move up through the grades.
After years of linear, sequential, structure in the educational system, many
of them simply do not know how to learn globally in an atmosphere of greater
freedom. Many students are not able to accept the responsibility for their
own discovery and growth in an area like the visual arts.
As a result, we teachers have to come at their problem in as many ways as it
takes to try to get from where there minds are at the start of the class, to
where they need to be if they are going to start to see and then draw.
Sometimes the person's head has to be seen as an oval in order to give the
poor kid some relief from the overwhelming terror and confusion of details
in the task which confronts them. And then ......the concept may present
little to the learning experience that is going on in the mind of the next
kid over at the same table.