Did you know there is so much emphasis on testing and evaluation that the life blood of spontaneity is being sucked out of inner city kids – perhaps, kids everywhere?!
Art Aware’s support of art teachers and creative classroom teachers is absolutely vital to the well being of well-rounded, well-educated children in Camden!
Art Aware recently presented an African American portfolio to 300 students, grades K to 4 in 25 classes and received a 95% rating from the resident art teacher for holding the kids’ interest and empowering them to “read artwork each in his or her own way” (part of our Mission Statement!).
Art Aware usually has classes with the school art teacher present, and gets feedback from the teacher after each class. And that feedback is rarely less than a 95% success rate – which is why we keep getting invited back to schools.
People ask us “Well, can’t the art teacher do what you do?” We answer “Most assuredly!” But they don’t have the luxury that we have - of a library of 300 22” X 28” prints to choose from and of being a guest in the school with a new young/old face/perspective to get even the most laidback child to get excited about “education” – about visual images from ancient to modern.
Art appreciation time is the only time where kids can be themselves and can express themselves without fear of being judged right or wrong - although there will always be a few art appreciation teachers who don’t follow what should be this universal directive to students: “You’re the boss when it comes to looking at a painting. Ask yourselves why you like it or don’t like it. Just because I like, or don’t like something, doesn’t mean you have to feel the same way. Let’s dialogue about our likes and dislikes – about what we see.”
Art teachers are unsung heroes. They fight the uphill battle of being called “prep fillers” for regular classroom teachers and of having their profession deemed not so important because creativity can’t (shouldn’t!) be tested. But, in fact, studies have shown there is indeed a direct correlation between art education and student success.
Compartmentalized learning does not contribute to well-rounded individuals.
Art Aware continues its mission to preach the good news about art and art teachers in order to foster education that will support “whole human beings.”
Copyright © 2005 Art Aware.
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Posted May 8, 2006