Le tter to t he Editor
Thearticlewaswrittenforoneof ers,confidencegrowsfromhaving Individualguidancecanaddress
ourdepartmentscalledPointof thiskindofpersonallypositiveand problems.Ifeelthatintermediate
View,whichisaforumforteach- safeexperiencewithartprovidinga gradeclassesshouldincorporate
erstoexpresstheirpersonalideas. steppingstonetomoreindependent designprinciples;childrenshould
Idon’talwaysagreewiththesen- artisticdevelopment. understandhowtoapplythemin
timentsexpressed,butIthinkit Iwouldalsoarguethat,fora theirownworksandinjudgingart.
shouldbepossibletodiscusssub- youngadolescent,stencilsare Artshouldbetheoneschoolsub-
jectsorideasthatmightbecontro- potentiallycreativetoolsandthere jectthathasasmanyresponsesas
versial. Iappreciateyourcomments. aremanychoicestobemadewhen thereareparticipants.Anystudent
email@example.com —MarthaSavage,ArtTeacher,Thomas Thestudentswhoare“notgoodat
art teacher’s role is to find ways to
FitAll”isthemiddle-schoollearner. Dear NancyandMartha, Icertainlyagreethatoneapproach
Thisparticularexampleisless Afterteachinginanelementary willnotfittheneedsofallstudents.
stageofelementary-schoollearners teachersupervisor.Ihavevisited Middleschoolisacriticaltime.
whohavelittleorno“artfear”and manyschools.Irealizedthatwhen —MaryLouiseDillman
maturehigh-schoolstudents. orhighschoolclassinthesame DearMaryLouise,
Ultimately,mygoaleverydayis districtthatIwasoftenobserving Thisdiscussionbringsupmany
toseeallofmymiddle-schoolstu- siblings.Thedifferenceinattitude interestingconversationsandchal-
dentschoosetobeengagedinart, wasnoticeable.Iamawarethatthe lengingideas.Isitbettertohavea
eventhemostrecalcitrant.Provid- spontaneousresponsesofyoung learnerbesointimidatedbyartor
ingadiversityofentrancepoints, childrendiminishastheygetolder, distractedbylife-issuesthatsheor
especiallysomeverylow-risk butsomethingiswrongwhenwe hewillactoutanddisrupttheentire
options,isanaccommodationIam can’tfindwaystoguideandinspire classorfindawaytoparticipate
I have been an art educator for many
years. When I read “One Size Does Not
Fit All” by Martha Savage in the February 2008 issue, I was upset. I know that
art teaching has become more structured
and students are less likely to truly create and individualize their artwork, but
to encourage templates and distribute
handouts to color in negates what art
education is about. There is no opportunity for problem solving, experimenting, or personal interpretations. There
are many ways to adjust art projects to
accommodate different levels of ability,
but this is not one of them. I am sorry to
read this in SchoolArts.
—Mary Louise Dillman, retired elementary
school art teacher, supervisor of student art
teachers, Long Island University, C. W. Post
Continued on page 60.
6 School Arts May/June 2008
Circle No. 120 on Reader’s Service card.
independently and save face? Keep
in mind that the expectation and
goal is that later, learners become
brave enough to venture forward
with more confidence and break
through obstacles of all kinds to
get the pencil moving. Coloring,
templates, and stencils do have
merit. Are we so jaded against
them that we can’t see it?
To make such a controversial
claim takes courage and it should
be followed with a descriptive
explanation of the creative/art benefits of such. There are numerous
examples and uses of coloring, templates, and stencils in art, which
are staples of the printmaker’s practice. Aren’t Buddhist monks, when
creating a sand mandala, basically
coloring in a pre-established pattern, although the process is of
great importance and requires great
Stencils and templates have art
historical antecedents in pop art,
Indonesian temple rubbings, and
op art. (Robert Indiana, Robert
Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns
used number and letter stencils!)
Before that, Dada incorporated and
experimented with these ideas.
These methods incorporate foundational art concepts: the negative/
positive space dialectic, repetition,
and the color interaction investigations that interested Itten and
Albers. There are interdisciplinary implications in the science of
optics and geometry.
I am glad a controversy has been
sparked. Hopefully, it can lead to
an extended dialogue.
—Martha Savage, firstname.lastname@example.org