regarding K-6 priorities
- A teacher I work with complains that her students "can't draw". She
says, like "THESE" students...,like they have 2 heads. I told her I
would give them the experience to draw, that I could not demand they
draw the head in a certain way, etc. When I worked with the class, they
refused to draw with one crayon. They jumped from one color to the
next, without much sensitivity, in my opinion. The teacher came back to
class, and she made a face when she looked at the work, and then had
another visceral reaction when I recommended that they concentrate on
line, not color. I'm finding her intolerable, and I was wondering if
anyone out there has worked with these issues, and personnel, before.
- I assume you are talking about a regular elementary classroom teacher
coming into the room. These teachers have no art training and want
their children to draw "pretty" pictures. Of course, anything creative
or not done realistically is not "pretty." On Valentines Day they have
their students do lots of hearts, on St. Patrick's Day they do lots of
shamrocks, and on Christmas they do lots of holly. These are the same
teachers that ask you to put aside your art lessons and have their
students do "pretty" heart cards or the like for their classroom
Valentines parties. What I did was ignore them. I was nice- but I
ignored their comments because I knew they had no clue what art is.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "beyondskyline"
> A teacher I work with complains that her students "can't draw". She
> says, like "THESE" students...,like they have 2 heads. I told her I
> would give them the experience to draw, that I could not demand they
> draw the head in a certain way, etc. When I worked with the class, they
> refused to draw with one crayon. They jumped from one color to the
> next, without much sensitivity, in my opinion. The teacher came back to
> class, and she made a face when she looked at the work, and then had
> another visceral reaction when I recommended that they concentrate on
> line, not color. I'm finding her intolerable, and I was wondering if
> anyone out there has worked with these issues, and personnel, before.
S...When I first started teaching at my current school, a few teachers had requests and expectations that I wasn't willing to cooperate with because the objectives were not jiving with mine as the art teacher. Attitudes have changed somewhat over the years with my colleagues and they are more tolerant and of work that is "outside the box" .. at least the work coming from the art room, if not in their own rooms. But.. I have never had a teacher respond as you described to work I led the students through. It's discouraging to be on the receiving end of that, especially when you went out of your way to help. I agree with Ken.. politely ignore future requests for help from this teacher and shake it off.
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- --- In email@example.com, "beyondskyline"
>I have found that most elementary staff have little or no training in
> A teacher I work with complains that her students "can't draw".
child development, as relates to drawing. The work of Viktor
Lowenfeld, Rhoda Kellogg and Betty Lark-Horowitz seems to be largely
ignored in teacher training now. I believe that art education programs
must be giving this essential information short shrift also, as
evidenced by the enormous amount of art teaching that is not attuned
to child development. Howard Gardner of Multiple Intelligences fame
also got his publishing start (ARTFUL SCRIBBLES) studying the
'unschooled art' of children. You can Google any of the above people
for good references.
As a first step with your colleague, go to Craig Roland's great
Internet content and print it out to share with her and others:
Then, Marvin Bartel has a Beyond Wonderful website on learning and
teaching and drawing with young children. It is both useful and
Good luck to you. What you find and share with others is so important
to your young students!
K-3 Massachusetts, retired
Teaching for Artistic Behavior
- I would probably explain to her that kids are at
varying stages of drawing realistically and you can't
expect everyone to draw wonderfully, just as you would
not expect every child to be able to do a perfect
layup in basketball. One or two drawing lessons is
not going to make a child draw incredibly
realistically. I would recommend starting with pen or
pencil, rather than crayon. Do demonstrations, have
handouts, a good exercise would also be to draw still
lifes or draw other classmates. Also she needs to
have a positive attitude and explain what she expects
in the drawings before hand. If she merely criticizes
the child after the fact they will get discouraged.
Some kids will just draw stick figures unless you
explain to them that you want your person to have
bones and skin, you want to see the clothes they are
wearing, the pupil of the eye, the eyebrows, and so
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