Asournationstruggleswith anunsettlingeconomy,we needtoputourbestfoot forwardandpromotewhat
we know to be true: Art education
makes a difference in people’s lives.
Why Do Art Teachers
Make a Difference?
Before we ever thought about being
art teachers, we knew, from personal
experience, that art was making a positive difference in our lives. We experienced encounters with art as a journey
of discovery and mastery of skills.
With beginners’ minds, we discovered
multiple ways to see and create beauty
in our world. As art teachers today, we
remain confident that we are making
a difference because of how and what
How Do Art Teachers
Make a Difference?
We make a difference by guiding stu-
dents in creating, interpreting, and
evaluating visual forms. We embark
students on a lifelong journey of
inquiry and forge multiple pathways
for appreciating the natural and
human landscape. Along the way, we
challenge students with many oppor-
tunities to reflect on their journey.
We make a difference by planning
meaningful learning experiences that
balance formal, expressive, and the-
matic content. Based on assessments
of needs, we map the most effective
routes for mastering artistic skills. We
identify essential questions and design
artful problems that require students
to look closely at the world around
them, analyze visual qualities, con-
sider traditions of artistic accomplish-
ments, and make informed judgments
about the visual forms they encounter
We make a difference by unifying
art learning with the daily life experiences of our students as well as with
other disciplines. When we compare
works of art by focusing on human
commonalities, we reconcile cultural
and artistic differences and underscore
the value of art as an essential human
Making a Difference
in the World of Work
Art education can make a difference
in preparation for the world of work,
when students acquire inquiry skills
for confidently and creatively finding solutions to design problems and
answers to questions about art.
An orderly and safe studio environment also contributes to productive
work habits. When students learn to
organize their own spaces, systems,
and ways of working efficiently, they
will be well prepared to succeed in the
Increasingly, in the contemporary
world, work places are dependent on
creative and collaborative processes
involving mediation between individuals. Opportunities for group work
can cultivate students’ sensitivities
for participating in a democratic work
makes a difference
in people’s lives.
Art teacher Bob Hepner, engages his students at the elementary laboratory school
at Smith College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Photo by Nancy Walkup.
Continued on page 66.
16 March2012 SchoolArts
Continued from page 16.
Travel with SchoolArts!
Please join Nancy Walkup, editor of SchoolArts magazine, and Go Ahead Tours for a thir-teen-day, art-filled guided tour of Barcelona and Northern Spain, departing June 21, 2012.
Admire parks and structures designed by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, then discover
the old-fashioned charm of seaside San Sebastian, Spain’s Costa Verde, and the Old
Town of Santiago de Compostela. We’ll also visit the world-class Guggenheim Museum
in Bilbao and the Altamira National Museum.
This guided tour includes round-trip air transportation with a major airline and
airport transfers; the services of a bilingual Go Ahead Tour director; professional local
guides; eleven nights accommodation in well-located hotels (includes baggage handling); buffet breakfast daily; six three-course dinners, including wine or beer; private
deluxe motor coach, and personal audio headset, and entrance fees to select sites.
For more information and a detailed itinerary, go to
nancywalkup.grouptoursite.com/groups/nancywalkup.aspx. To obtain a price quote
from your departure city or to register, please contact Lindsay.Link@EF.com about tour
number 52176049. A $300 deposit will hold your place!
Barcelona and Northern Spain
June 21–July 3, 2012 • 13 Days
Realizing the value of continuous reflection on performance can make a difference
in attitudes towards work. As
students engage in self, peer,
and instructor critiques, they
learn to respect the evaluation
process and develop confidence
in their abilities to adjust and
refine their goals.
We are excited to announce that, for the second consecutive year, SchoolArts is collaborating with CRIZMAC Arts and Cultural Materials to offer a trip for educators to Santa
Fe, New Mexico, during the International Folk Art Market. Last year, we had a terrific
group of thirty-six educators from all over the country and together we met incredible
artists, participated in hands-on activities, attended presentations, enjoyed museum visits, and attended the market. All of these exciting activities are again part of the 2012
trip, which will take place July 11–17, 2012. Details are available at www.crizmac.com/
Following the Folk Art Market, we are leading a second summer trip in New Mexico, July 18–24, 2012. The theme of this tour, Pueblo Indians of the Southwest, will
cover many forms of Native American art including pottery, jewelry, textiles, and more.
We will participate in hands-on activities, visit museums and pueblos, and our interaction with native guest speakers and artists from different Pueblos will add a phenomenal level of authenticity and richness to the experience. More details to follow
soon at www.crizmac.com/travel.cfm.
July 11–17, 2012 & July 18–24, 2012
Making a Difference in the
Way Students Learn
Art education is about making
connections between images
and ideas that cross boundaries of time, place, culture, and
discipline. Objects and images
confront us with ideas about
life and death, about conflict
and resolution, about neglect
and fulfillment, about pomp
and prejudice, and much,
much more. In short, exploring
disciplines from multiple perspectives makes a difference in
our understanding of what it
means to be human.
Against cries for no more
taxes, we still have a chance to
make these the best of times
for art education. All kids
deserve the opportunity to
pursue explorations in art. The
nation’s children are depending on us to continue making
Eldon Katter is co-author of
Explorations in Art (Davis Publications) and the former editor of