Dear Art Educators,
Last week, Marin Bartel posted a very good question for us (I posted his
entire post previously - here is just the final question).
"What works for you to help sandbaggers who have this unreasonable fear of
failure? They are good artists, hard workers, but spend so much time in
preparation that they never get things done on time."
Here is the only response that was given to the question.
From Kevan Nitzberg:
I know these students all too well. Part of the problem
that I have found with a number of students who fit into this niche
is that the fear of failure in completing a project is often
due to the fact that they believe there is a 'right' or expected
end result which they don't feel is obtainable for them (for one
reason or another). Much of that mentality, of course, is
fostered by a lot of the rest of their day in other
curriculum areas where that is too often the mentality of the
environment (it also exists in some art classes as well,
I find that I have better results with completion of work
when students are encouraged to pursue alternative solutions to
various projects that ultimately are more meaningful to
them and therefore there is more personal investment /
pride in what is being attempted. Though there may be
more time needed to complete the work (in addition to
exploring those possibilities), at least the desire to stay
focused on the project is evident and, often, the work
finally is completed and turned in for credit.
I have to say that is these students that also provide me
with the most satisfaction in my teaching as the successes
that they find they are capable of are often life changing
I sent my response to Marvin off list - I worked a lot with these students
after school (don't regret any of those hours)... I too know these kind of
students very well. They are not lazy - they just need to time to see it
through and confidence in their ideas. These students may not be able to get
the work done in the confines of a forty - fifty minute class period with
all of the other activities going on. Sometimes we just have to get them to
"Just do it"....Be satisfied for what they were able to accomplish - even if
it may not be "perfect". Another project may have their heart in it
more...As Marvin said - "it is a journey"
Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources