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Lesson Plans

Re: Art Level vs. Art Ability

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stacey Bernstein (staceyb)
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 05:14:58 -0700

At 10:41 AM -0400 9/5/1999, Betti P. Longinotti wrote:

>Yes... it is always difficult and problematic when you are teaching
>varied levels during the same class time. It is a problem we all face,
>but I fear by not teaching the levels we perpetuate the notion... well
>its just Art... lump them all together.

Vantage Point Campus, where I teach Art, is an alternative high school with
approximately 200 students. I have a full time position despite that small
number, art credit is required (though it may have come from another
school) and the requirement for electives is also pretty high (more art at
the discretion of the student). I feel that the visual arts are valued
here, and not as a babysitting wing of the building.
It is necessary in this situation for me to have 9-12 grade kids in any
given class, and for me to individualize. Each student has the same
assignnment/project/objective/ benchmark, whatever, but will meet it to the
most recent version of his/her best ability. I place alot of value on
effort, so "art stars" that don't make/meet new challenges do not get A's
and those who are less talented, but really try and learn may earn an A.
I tell students who are concerned that they cannot repeat classes and still
get credit NOT to be concerned with the art classes. In the art classes
they will build on their practice even if they have "done it before." An
experienced student will have the opportunity to "raise the bar" on her/his
performance. The experienced student is an example to the less experienced
ones... I see them learning from eachother not because I make the
experienced student become a tutor, but because that's how we humans work.
It has been this way for four years, I have always had multi age/multi
skilled classes...every teacher where I have taught is in the same
situation. It's not seen as a problem, in fact I think it's really great,
depsite the occasional yearning for an "advanced only" class.


p.s. I like the idea of the Art Honor Society as a way for the truly
interested artists to deepen their experience, thanks.

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Artist & Art Educator
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a site documenting some of my time and energy as an
Artist in Residence at New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado.

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"A work of art is above all an adventure of mind."
- Eugene Ionesco (1912 - 1994)

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