SchoolArts Magazine

MAR 2013

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 14 of 64

AdvocAcy First Steps Eldon Katter A s our nation struggles with an unsettling economy, we, as art teachers, need to put our best foot forward and promote what we know to be true: The success of our nation is dependent on all children having a comprehensive education. The following two questions are posed to help us think about our first steps as we put our best foot forward: "How does art education relate to the world of work?" and "How does art education relate to other disciplines?" How does Art education relate to the world of work? Creative collaboration in the artroom is a fundamental first step towards preparing Inquiry: Responsible art teaching children for the real world. encourages students to value curiosity and realize the importance of genHow does Art education relate individuals who create businesses and erating appropriate questions when jobs, it's probably safe to say that most to other disciplines? approaching art- and design-related Among other things, art education contemporary workplaces are depenproblems. Through art studio projects, involves the study of images and students refine and extend their inves- dent on group efforts and cooperation. ideas. Appreciation of art is depenDesigned products are most often the tigative skills by observing details, dent on making connections. Images result of creative comparing qualities, in art—and the ideas that inspire and collaborative analyzing perspecThe works of artists them—present human commonaliprocesses involvtives, predicting reveal a great deal about ties, themes, and concepts that cross ing mediation possibilities, and the human experience boundaries of cultural studies, interbetween individujudging outcomes. personal relations, science, mathematAs they find creative and help us to understand als participating in the human condition. ics, and language arts, as well as other a democratic work and aesthetically traditional areas of study. Skillfully environment. Realpleasing solutions to crafted objects and images confront us izing this, good art teachers cultivate problems, students gain confidence in with multiple perspectives and world their students' sensitivities to work their ability to become successful in views about freedom, responsibility, effectively in groups. the world of work. justice, loyalty, respect, governance, Creativity: Because of the malleOrganization: Even though it is and, of course, beauty. ability of most art materials and the generally believed that art is one of The works of artists reveal a great flexibility of techniques, repeated the few subjects in which application studio practice develops students' abil- deal about the human experience of rules does not always lead to the and help us to understand the human most successful and satisfying results, ities to respond quickly to the unexgood art teachers know that an orderly pected, to deal constructively with the condition. Life-enhancing concepts and skills are as likely to be found element of surprise, and to recognize and safe work environment can by crossing disciplinary boundaries and pursue goals that depart from improve the efficiency and quality of through the meaningful study of art their original intentions and predicted work. With guidance, students learn as by teaching to standardized tests. to take responsibility for the use, care, outcomes. Reflection: As students develop and conservation of tools and matericonfidence in their abilities to adjust als; for respecting safety rules; and for Eldon Katter is co-author of Explorations and refine their goals, they realize the organizing their own systems, spaces, in Art (Davis Publications) and former importance of continuous reflection and ways for working efficiently. editor of SchoolArts. on their progress and the quality of Collaboration: Despite the polititheir performance. cal debate over whether or not it is 12 March 2013 SchoolArts

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