Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Upcoming screenings of

From: wmvh <>
Date: Wed Mar 28 21:12:01 2007

Thanks Mike. THis is something that I could do. I have considered making the last project of the semester the choice of each student. They would write a proposal for their own project (with possible modifications as they work on it and find a need to modify). State requirements are met and the administration doesn't pay much attention to what I am up to. I balked at doing the free-choice project before because there were some students who I thought did not know how to handle free time without disrupting everyone else. But you give me some encouragement to try.

William Van Horn

 --- On Sun 03/25, Mike South < > wrote:
From: Mike South [mailto:]
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 10:26:21 -0400
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Upcoming screenings of

On 3/24/07, wmvh <> wrote:<br>><br>> The trailer looked great! Would like to see the movie but live in Arkansas. I would certainly be interested when a DVD comes out.<br>><br>> It hits close to home. I am a Middle School Art teacher in a public school. THough I am only in my 3rd year, I am already burning out. Every day at school I am thinking, this is not right, this is not the way people learn. Kids who don't want to be there, the regiment of time constraints, the assignments, the number of students in a room at one time demanding my attention. It doesn't work. Education, for me, is about relationships, talking to others, sharing, working together (or working alone). There are a few fine moments when I get the chance to sit and talk with a student about what they are working on. I love those moments when a student is finding his/her personal solution to a artistic problem. Each of these solutions are unique and I learn a little something from each of
them.<br>><br>> But what is a teacher supposed to do? How do you get a job in a school that only has 5 - 10 staff members? Besides reading the books, which I have done, does anyone have any idea on how to get a job in this very small job market?<br>><br>> Thanks. William<br>><br>><br>> William Van Horn<br>><br>><br><br>Hi,<br><br>I have no idea if this is possible, but consider it brainstorming and<br>maybe some idea that is possible will spring from it.<br><br>I am unaware of any strict standards for art classes, much less any<br>external interference with someone who tried to do something<br>innovative. Would it be possible for you to have a conversation like<br>this with the kids:<br><br>"Ok, I can''t help the fact that you are being forced to be here by<br>the state. While you are in my classroom, you have to do art. BUT, I<br>want you to do the art that you are interested in, whatever that is.<br>For the next two weeks I'm going to introduce
a<br>technique/subject/activity per day. While I'm doing that, I want you<br>to be thinking about which of these interests you most. Starting the<br>day after that, you'll be working on whatever you choose. I can't<br>give you the freedom to leave, to goof off, or whatever, but I can<br>give you the freedom to do whatever art you are most interested in."<br><br>If someone wants to spend the whole year drawing comic strips, let<br>them. That's as likely to result in a career as anything, which is I<br>guess what school thinks its doing. I mean, hey, it's art. There are<br>a whole lot of things that people could be doing, and if someone<br>objects, they will have to prove that what the kid is doing isn't art,<br>right?<br><br>So if you had a couple of kids in the back doing claymation, someone<br>drawing manga, a person learning about Photoshop filters, some people<br>drawing still lifes, a couple of people painting, etc, would it freak<br>the district out?<br><br>I know
this sounds pretty radical, trying to do something so far<br>outside the box in a public school (I assume you're in a public<br>school), but there is precedent for it to work, and the key is that<br>the bureaucrats don't really understand art and don't have a notion of<br>how they need to control it to make it produce the right outcomes.<br>This actually worked for middle school shop classes. I lived next<br>door to Harvey Dean, who started Pitsco. He was a bit of a troubled<br>teen and a shop teacher got him interested in doing cool things in<br>shop class, and it made a big difference in his life. He started a<br>business that was basically based on this idea: "make shop class<br>something that kids want to come to". His first thing, iirc, was<br>CO2-powered dragsters, where you carved a balsa blank however you<br>wanted and put a CO2 cartridge in the back and raced them against<br>others in your class.<br><br>Kids really got into this, and eventually he was producing
electronic<br>timing gates and wind tunnels. You can go to<br>and see what they are doing now. But my point is that when the state<br>isn't forcing a curriculum on you, it is possible to do things that<br>kids really like. It is of course not the same as being at a Sudbury<br>School, but you might be able to make your corner of the world<br>significantly more choice/interest-based.<br><br>mike<br>_______________________________________________<br>Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list<br><br><br>

Join Excite! -
The most personalized portal on the Web!
Received on Wed Mar 28 2007 - 21:11:26 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2007 - 00:03:15 EDT