SchoolArts Magazine

December 2016

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 7 of 54

Visit SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 3 Nancy at the Great Wall of China. (It was very cold!) S everal years ago, I had the opportunity to teach Chinese students at a winter camp in Beijing. We only had one day free for sight- seeing, and our hosts were determined that we would spend it seeing the Great Wall. (It was January and bitterly cold!) Though it is a myth that the Wall is the only human-made structure that can be seen from space, it is well-deserving of its recognition as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Chinese are justifiably proud of it. Stretching for about 4,500 miles, the Great Wall is considered to be the world's largest military structure. It was built from the third century BC to the seventeenth century AD on the northern border of China to serve as mili tary defense. Many of our Chinese students were eager to use it as a subject in their artwork. Though your students most likely won't find any nearby human-made structures on such a massive scale, the concept of structure—an arrangement or organization of interrelated ele- ments in a system or material object—can be found in every aspect of life: in the built envi- ronment, in the natural world, in the abstract, and in everyday life. Structure provides consis- tency, predictability, and stability, and orders our days, especially those of teachers. I can't think of another profession where the entire day is structured in blocks of time, down to the minute. (Who else has a timed bathroom break?) Teachers are also guided by the struc- tures of state and district requirements, pre- scribed curricula, scope and sequences, lesson plans, and the like. I believe art teachers, with our emphasis on interdisciplinary content, are in the best posi- tion to help students learn about structure in both abstract and concrete systems, on both a small and large scale. Our articles this month are offered in support of that belief. Editor's Letter Follow me on

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