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    NEEDS: Do you think studio art, art education and art history curricula need to be changed and if so, how?


    Studio art, art education and art history curricula do not necessarily need to be fully changed. It is important for students to have access to all of the expressive materials and media that make art, art. The curricula for these disciplines can be updated to include more time for the creative process and for technologies that and make art more accessible to every learner.


    The change I would like to see implemented in present-day art curriculum would be to ensure that 21st Century technology is filtered into the art classroom. It is important to teach the components of art, the history behind the artworks as well as spend time in the art making but the curriculum has to also include connections to the world the students live in and will continue to grow in. There are so many ways to research, inspire, connect and create through technology but unfortunately (or at least in my district), the “special area” subjects are the last to receive any technology driven teaching/learning tools.
    Professor Elliot Eisner in his lecture, “What Do the Arts Teach” reminded me to continue to explore new ways of exposing what the students are learning in my classroom. It is through this awareness that the teachers, administrators and community will get a glimpse of how important the arts are to everyone. Finding the time to organize, display and promote is a difficult task to master because of the other tasks that need to be completed (SLOs, grading, team meetings, covering walls of art for PSSA testing, faculty meetings, etc.)
    I am fortunate to work in a building where the administration is very supportive of the arts and my goal would be to continue to demonstrate that art is an integral part of every student’s learning. This continues to bring awareness and help create the change I need to get technology into the art classroom.


    I think art in general needs to cover many sociohistorical concepts to illustrate the reasons why artists created this work. I think just showing nothing but technic or theories isn’t the true reasons why artist’s created artwork. Artists are embedded in their culture creating art. Furthermore, I believe you are only going to learn art by doing but again it is important to put yourself into the world of artist if you want to create this type of work. Of course then for original works, we hope artists are basing them off their own culture.

    Jacqueline Geiple

    I think that the new shift in standards and curriculum is already headed in the right direction by allowing for more higher level thinking skills, problem solving, and development of individual student voice because those are real weaknesses in the older curriculum. However, I think the education system in general needs to respect the art curriculum by providing adequate class time and funding is provided to do justice to these programs instead of sacrificing arts time and funding in order to cater to core subjects. I have noticed that in my school (and several others), administrations seem recognize yet misunderstand the current push for arts in schools. Instead of supporting our arts program and recognizing art education as a relevant domain that can stand on its own, they have instead started to lean more towards art teachers leaving the art room to instead support their math, science, and engineering programs. While art does indeed play an important role in almost every core subject, schools should not exploit these connections and use art solely to support what they want. Studio art, in my opinion, implies a strong focus on artistic exploration, creation, and production. I understand that a variety of thinking, researching, connecting, discussing, critiquing, reflecting, curating, etc. naturally goes along with that…but when the curriculum puts so much emphasis and high expectations on all of those areas, then time has to be removed from the studio art making in order to properly teach and apply the other areas. Mandatory state and national testing (as well as district initiatives requiring the arts to take time out of their curriculum to support the areas being tested) is crippling class time and overwhelming students with more to do in less time than their developing minds and skills can properly and successfully grow. I do believe that the shift is a positive one, and art teachers could successfully implement the curriculum changes and put adequate focus on all areas and result in incredible increases in student learning, however, there would need to be some compromise from school districts in terms of removing the barriers impeding those desired results (visual arts being required to teach multiple reading and writing lessons a year, cutting out electives multiple days a year to allow for core classes to have more class time, not cutting art programs in schools to replace with math and reading, not removing children from art programs, etc.).


    I believe art education, especially music education, needs to incorporate more experimentation, exploration and creative collaboration. There should also be more inclusion of digital media alongside working on developing performance techniques. But going beyond just the fine arts, education in general needs to change. By embracing the diversity of choices that new media and art experiences provide, students will build on prior experience and gain new proficiencies. Integral and central to this inter- and multi-disciplinary approach is the use of inquiry as motivation, fostering learning as discovery; this, combined with on-going reflections by both teachers and students, leads to insight and self-awareness. Authentic integration of the arts and new media with other disciplines and subject areas will transform curriculum from being linear and striated to being divergent and inter-connected, moving from passive reception to active participation. Still, the learning environment should continue to include concrete experiences; the sensory and the digital should be blended and cooperative; and even with cloud sharing and social media expediting communication and facilitating the exchange of ideas and creativity, it is important for students to experience face-to-face interactions, as well as manual manipulation of physical items. Furthermore, it is essential for students to learn responsible media management so that they know how to control media use as opposed to being in its control. Learning how to balance digital and physical experiences will be an on-going challenge for our society, affecting us psychologically, intellectually, and culturally. The implications, both positive and negative, are deep and broad; the potential for misuses of technology are great, but so, too, are the possibilities for human development that digital media offers, if thoughtfully and mindfully applied. I would add too, that mandatory, standardized, high stakes testing is an anathema to creativity and learning. It is bad for the arts and it is bad for intellectual inquiry of all sorts.


    I do think that we are at a point where studio art, art education and art history curricula need to be changed and at this point in time I seem to hear of many schools putting a lot of time, thought and effort into making changes. My school district is just in the very beginning stages of planning out a new curriculum. It is going to be a long, very well thought out and heavily researched process. I think that most schools are really trying to shift gears from some of the old school practices in art education and it appears to me that there is a large movement to attempt to put the main focus on the students and giving them the tools and confidence they need to truly trust in themselves, their own ideas and their own creativity. We are trying to focus on giving them the art education they need by also being sure to keep the joy of creating art to the highest possible degree. If students are not experiencing the joy of creating art and they are not being excited and inspired by what their teachers are presenting to them then we will be failing to bring them a curriculum that will give them the many benefits that a solid art foundation can equip them with for their future.

    Elizabeth Eagle

    From my current experiences as a high school art educator, I feel there is a strong need for studio art and art education curricula to be changed to focus on conceptual understanding through artistic investigation, and encourage creativity through discovery. Even though these aspects of art education curricula are now addressed in the National Core Arts Standards, districts and educators need to embrace a more contemporary way of teaching and thinking within (and outside of) the art classroom. I feel that a contemporary art classroom focuses on student directed art which encourages individual attention to personal interest, looks at socio-cultural objectives, and connects students, teachers, and classroom through new media interests. I also believe that above all, students need to feel empowered and want to take ownership of their ideas, and therefore the artwork they make. Offering new challenges in the art classroom through social media dialogue which encourages collaborative conversations and pushes conceptual based thinking; and by adding the role of guide and facilitator to that of teacher, are potential elements of the core for a new art education curriculum.


    NEEDS: Do you think studio art, art education and art history curricula need to be changed and if so, how?

    In teaching art history, I feel as though the art history curricula needs to be changed because we are instructed by Collegeboard to teach to the test. It is horrible, simply because they break the test down to percentages of what era is mostly going to be on the test to the least. As a teacher who loves art history, I feel as though the classroom and curricula needs to taught according to the importance of art from that time period. For example, which piece of art had the greatest impact during that time, history of families that ruled a lot of art, another example would be the Medici family. My students just got done taking the exam and a lot of them said that African Art and Indian Art was on the exam, however we were instructed to now focus our time on that area of art. So in that case I feel that the art history curricula needs to be changed in that way.


    I think that art education, studio art, and art history need to be continually changing and adapting to the changes in the world. Studio art responds to and interprets the lives of artists, combats social issues, critiques society as well as the constantly moving world. Art history not only examines artwork created hundreds of years ago but that only 50 years ago. Art history also much continue to change in order to stay up to date with what is happening in the art world. Art education, which I see as a combination of the previous two areas, must also maintain a continual progression forward as new studio practices become introduced, technology advances, and history changes. Denying change within these areas means that we are not truly honoring them as we should.

    Lance Rautzhan

    I believe that the teacher’s studio should be brought to the classroom and teachers should pursue a collaborative mentorship model. Collaborative, conceptual, process-based projects should be presented. In 2018, young adults have never known a world without the internet. To truly engage them, a curriculum should embrace new media while still creating works that show the artists’ hand. I’ve utilized Instagram in the past to create a collaborative installation and the students were open from the start. The process was followed through the use of hashtags and is still available (for the most part) by searching the hashtags. The final piece is installed in the school.

    Kerry R

    It is undeniable that new media is going to need to be recognized as its own art form so that kids who are delivered all aspects of learning digitally have the opportunity to manipulate it in artful ways. I sat in on a traditional art show jury with the basics: painting, ceramics, jewelry, etc. This year, artists submitted digitally created art from an iPad and casts made from 3D printing. If we are unable to recognize the skill that is brought forth through new media, we could leave a generation of new artists behind.


    I think that studio art needs to integrate new media tools into its curricula to be more interdisciplinary. It also needs to have more multiculturalism for sure, studying artworks of mostly western artists creates a narrow perception on studio art. For example, why not integrating African art as the main resource for a studio course?

    caroline grace

    I think that it is important for the art educator to refresh their curriculum regularly in order to stay present with the world and in order to maintain interest from students. I have experienced art classes in my early years of grade school as well as in college where the instructor seems out of touch with new ideas and new techniques. This leads to limitations, and I believe there should be no limits in art.


    Curriculum needs to change as the audience/students change. It needs to adapt to the needs of the present, which by the nature of things continually evolves. Techniques advance, styles change, people become interested in different things, the needs of the world change. Art and how we create needs to change with all of those things, therefore the curriculum through which we teach needs to change with it.

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