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As far as elementary art curriculum I would agree with Liz in that it does give room for teachers to bring in the culturally responsive issues in that I too choose books that integrate some culturally responsive issues giving us a chance to discuss and think about. But could we do a better job at integrating more? Absolutely! I felt as though in my college curriculum as a undergrad there was a lot of integration of cultural responsiveness. But the seed needs to be planted when they are young too. The younger students it becomes a balancing act of teaching content, technique, and materials while also giving them the character education and cultural responsiveness.
As far as in my own personal classroom I find it hard to bring in social issues because of the age and level of my students; I teach 2nd and 3rd graders. However, we do talk about things like kindness, friendship, bullying, history etc., that in a round about way give them some social issues at their own level. I find these social issues are taught through the social interactions among the students, sharing materials, working collaboratively etc., then focusing specifically on showing social issues through artwork. But I feel as though in those moments of social teaching we begin to build character education in which when the students begin to find their voice through their artwork, I hope they remember some of the conversations we have had in the art room back in elementary school that help them to succeed later in life.
Present studio art education in my opinion is a middle ground between finding a voice as an artist while also still filling in the fundamentals and techniques of art. As an undergrad I remember feeling confused during my particular studio art course because it was mostly project based curriculum looking for specific things within the artwork. There was no part of the work being created that was about who I was as an artist. Once we would share our work it became about the process of creating, but for me the process was just doing what was asked of me per rubric specifications. By the end of the course I had no idea who I was as an artist. I didn’t know who I was creating for other than a rubric. There are things that need to be learned, taught and focused on. The issue comes in when the rubric does not allow for artistic voice. There has to be a balance with the two. We need to work to mess the two together to give the artist the skills, knowledge and techniques while also creating that artistic voice. That is the challenge. Even teaching elementary students, we still have to try and find that same balance to let them be the creative young artist while giving them formal skills to learn. I work hard to ensure my guidelines, expectations and rubrics look only for the skill, the technique and process but as far as end product I want that to be a reflection of the student.
I think the art curriculum has to have that reflective piece in there otherwise we deny our students the information needed to become their own voice in their artwork. The challenges become allowing ourselves to be open and understanding to the changes happening around us so that we can be facilitators for our students. The moment we start to close ourselves to the changing in consciousness we close our students. This does not mean that you personally have to agree with everything but you have to be open enough to allow your students to be aware of the changes open their minds to it and allow for them to make their own decisions. You have to give them the history; you have to show how history is repetitive, then give them the facts. Once they have the facts we help and facilitate their own thoughts and opinions but don’t impose on them. You make them back their opinions up with “whys” and “how comes’” to follow their thought process but we have to allow for them to make their own opinions. It’s hard when other students have differing opinions or even when we the teachers have differing opinions. We have to create a space where it is safe, comfortable and acceptable to have the differing views but allow for conversation and allow for the space to encourage that type of thinking.
I have not tried this approach, I teach younger students so sometimes discussions are difficult to maneuver, they take specific jobs and direction because we are building the skills needed for discussion later in life however, thinking about how to implement this into a classroom of older students and thinking back to my own time in a classroom I see pros and cons to the circle. Pros would include teaching students to listen; the circle really makes students sit and listen to those in the circle. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in thinking about what we want to say next that we forget to listen. The circle allows for students to pay attention to body language, which is so important when thinking about how to talk with people no matter the subject matter. Having everyone participate seems to me to hit that line of pro and con. It stands as a pro because we all have ideas and opinions that are valuable to a discussion. We all bring a piece of importance to the table. I can also see it as a con because I was the kind of student that did not like to participate. Not because I was paying attention but because I was afraid and shy. I feel the force of making everyone say something becomes distracting for those students that are shy, I remember knowing that I had to speak made it incredibly more stressful and I wasn’t listening as much because I was more concerned with what I was going to say. But this is something that depends on the student; it depends on the environment created in the classroom. I think it could be a very interesting, very rewarding experience for all those involved. I wish I could facilitate it or watch it be done. I think discussions are a vital part of the curriculum that I find students struggle with more and more.
1. Who created the artwork and what position/power did/do they hold?
2. Whose voices are being represented?
3. Are those voices heard more often or less often?
4. How does culture play a role in the artwork?
5. How does your own culture influence your own artwork?
6. How can our artwork influence others?February 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm in reply to: 3. Men's role in the struggle for women’s equality? #7144
I think there is a positive and negative role that men play in the struggle for women’s equality. There are men out there doing their part and helping the fight for women’s equality however, there are also many men who are not.
I think about the ideas of being a single woman today; its hard ad we can barley afford to survive even with a decent job. Because of course women get paid less than men therefore trying to survive on our good job still isn’t good enough. Yet, a single man can find it relatively easy to survive with their income higher than that of a woman. Yes, this is a patriarchal concept that has been passed down from generation to generation however do we see men willing to stand up and take a pay cut? It brings us back to the idea that a women is “lost” without a man, but society makes it difficult to even survive without a second person in the household.
Men have the larger voice, the bigger platform and more influence women need their support to create an equal space; financially, competitively and socially. The most difficult part of this process is the concept of having men accept ad understand the privilege they have as a dominant gender. Then they have to be willing to accept the fact that they should work to even the playing field rather than trying to keep the privilege to themselves.