Dear Art Educators,
Pam Stephens is working for change in art education....Her students are
thinking about - and assessing - what "we" (practicing teachers) do. Maybe
you can tweak her questions and make a list of quesitons to distribute to
your stafff for reflection and discussion. When you meet is it just a gripe
session about kids not doing what you want? Maybe have a staff meeting and
really talk about what your department is doing and what effects it may be
having on the kids. I know our art department did not talk (ours mainly
turned into gripe sessions....boring!)
Pam Stephens' Youth Art Month questions for her students (they took a field
trip to a YAM exhibit)
YOUTH ART MONTH OBSERVATION
Youth Art Month is a national observance each March to emphasize the
value of art education for all children and to encourage support for
quality school art programs. The Nation and the Arts, a Presidential
briefing paper prepared by the Independent Committee on Arts Policy
"Well-developed programs of making and studying art serve many
functions. They help students better articulate their perceptions
and shape coherent responses to their experiences. When children
learn to appreciate form and color...when they learn the importance
of fashioning their own images of the world around them, they achieve
greater discipline and self-confidence. Further, the arts have
extrinsic public value, as they are increasingly important to this
1. Select an artwork clearly shows that the Arizona Academic
Standards for the Visual Arts have been used. Describe the artwork
and how the standards are represented.
2. Do you find an artwork that evidences academic standards from
other content areas (i.e., there is an interdisciplinary connection)?
Describe that artwork and what standards you think it meets.
3. How many artworks reflect sensitivity to cultural or gender
issues? What conclusion can you draw from your observation?
4. Do you see any artworks that are "in the style of" a well-
known artist? If so, do you think this is a worthwhile approach to
teaching art? What are some pros and cons of this approach?
5. Do you find any artworks that seem to be "cookie cutter"
(i.e., everyone in the class probably made the same thing or a
pattern was used)? Describe that artwork.
6. Locate an elementary work of art that you think is original
and of high quality. What characteristics does this artwork possess?
7. Locate a middle school or secondary artwork. How do these
artworks show evidence of originality and quality?
8. How well do you think that this exhibition communicates the
value of art as a vital component of the curriculum? What evidence do
you see to support your response?
Thanks for sharing these Pam... I know TAB list would like to "hear" some
answers. (TAB already got my long "in the style of" ramble -- smile - no one
but me and the kids know what all was going on during those lessons).
Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources