Entries in teaching (3)


I saw Dali doing this once.

I sometimes draw on the ceiling with a brush or marker taped to a long stick. It demonstrates the use of tools to assist us in communicating, but mostly, it grabs their attention and makes learning fun. I saw Dali doing this once. He did it much better than I do.


Writing About Art

Dr. Marjorie Munsterberg has authored a book that scaffolds a second-level writing course on the subject of art.

"Writing About Art was written as the text for a course of the same name required of all art majors at The City College of New York. The book explains the different approaches college students encounter in undergraduate art history classes. Each chapter outlines the characteristics of one type of visual or historical analysis and briefly explains its history and development. Passages by well-known art historians provide examples of each method. Sample essays by students are accompanied by extensive explanations of suggested revisions. The book also includes a step-by-step guide to researching art historical topics and a section about correctly citing sources." - 


Amazon link


Pedagogy of Art, part 1

We often hear the saying in education that the fundamentals of knowledge are the trifecta of R's - Reading, (W)riting, and (A)rithmetic). The argument that teaching is a critical occupation is hard to make when teachers demonstrate an inability to spell, but I would like to add another phoneme to the list, "R-t."

Art has been misplaced in the pantheon of higher knowledge as this option to improve one's grade point average, "the easy A," or the class to take to meet chicks, but I would like to see art moved into its rightful place among the noble standards of education.

Everything we understand about ourselves comes from history. The history of humans is the history of art. From the cave paintings in Lascaux to the Egyptian and Mayan hieroglyphs, to the image we see on a dollar bill and the icons we touch on our cell phones, art defines who we are, where we came from and predictably where we are going.

 The concept that a zero represents nothing requires imagination. To engineer a model of a bridge requires imagination. To comprehend the meaning of an idiom requires imagination. Science, math, and literacy comprehension all require imagination. Imagination is taught in art.

Many years ago, thanks to the forward thinking of the "modern art" movement and the cult of personality called "pop,"  art was put off into this irrelevant field of study where one "explores their emotions" and as a result it was removed from the focus on problem solving and a tool that allows one to communicate emotions. As a result there has been a misguided pedagogy of unrelated ideas that has replicated itself generationally. Meaning, students of this "my poop is so awesome therefore it must be art" attitude in turn teach that to the next generation because that's all they know. Demonstrating just how much imagination has been removed from the science of art.

To be continued...