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Those who can, do, those who can't teach


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#1 Pres

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:27 PM

I have often gotten into discussions involving the old saying paraphrased as those who can't, teach". This is often involved with a discussion of what is first with a teacher in the the arts, or art in particular. There are the advocates of the artist/teacher where the artist teaches. The teacher/artist where the teacher happens to teach art. I have always thought that there was a third category artist/teacher where the artist enjoys his art so much that he feels a need to share it with others. It can get pretty deep, but when you think about the way post secondary education is planned. .. .hmm. Teachers are taught how to teach, and often their major is secondary to the ways and methods of teaching. On the other hand artists are studio based, and when reaching a higher degree level, may elect to become teachers in a post secondary situation. Others take more circuitous routes, but my point is that many times a new teacher in art is prepared with all of the pedagogy, but often not enough studio time. As those of us that have been in the classroom, to fail in a demonstration can lose a class, especially if they continue to foul the demos. Maybe it should point to a five year degree for Art Ed, as this jack of all media thing is so broad to become accomplished with a few courses. The other end of this is that many time anymore the core of courses in Art ed are flat work, and some sculpture, very little in the crafts. So often the new teacher does what he is comfortable with not venturing into uncharted territory. Opinions college teachers, Art teachers??

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#2 Benzine

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:42 PM

I have often gotten into discussions involving the old saying paraphrased as those who can't, teach". This is often involved with a discussion of what is first with a teacher in the the arts, or art in particular. There are the advocates of the artist/teacher where the artist teaches. The teacher/artist where the teacher happens to teach art. I have always thought that there was a third category artist/teacher where the artist enjoys his art so much that he feels a need to share it with others. It can get pretty deep, but when you think about the way post secondary education is planned. .. .hmm. Teachers are taught how to teach, and often their major is secondary to the ways and methods of teaching. On the other hand artists are studio based, and when reaching a higher degree level, may elect to become teachers in a post secondary situation. Others take more circuitous routes, but my point is that many times a new teacher in art is prepared with all of the pedagogy, but often not enough studio time. As those of us that have been in the classroom, to fail in a demonstration can lose a class, especially if they continue to foul the demos. Maybe it should point to a five year degree for Art Ed, as this jack of all media thing is so broad to become accomplished with a few courses. The other end of this is that many time anymore the core of courses in Art ed are flat work, and some sculpture, very little in the crafts. So often the new teacher does what he is comfortable with not venturing into uncharted territory. Opinions college teachers, Art teachers??


I felt that my college gave me a good studio foundation. However, I did not switch into Art Education, until part way through my Junior year. So it is possible, that I was able to take more studio classes because of this. I did feel that my specific Art Education classes, provided me with a good foundation.

I've found, that it was not until I started teaching, that the focus was taken away from studio work/ work in the classroom. There has been an increase in the required professional development meetings, which is taking teachers out of the classroom/ studio. Those professional development meetings, sadly never cover anything art related. The only chance I've found for continued artistic growth, is when I'm helping my students, if I squeeze time in during my prep, or on weekends, or if were to take a class at the local art guild, the latter of which, that I've not yet found time to do.

Also, the topic title reminds me of all the times students have asked me, "Did you have to go to school to teacher art?" My response, "No, I was just the nicest dressed person that showed up."
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#3 Denice

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:33 AM

I'm not a teacher but have done some voluntary art classes as my son went through school. I learned from this experience that teachers in general are very giving people and art teachers could be accomplished artist if they had the time. I thought I wanted to be a teacher until I taught a class and found out that I wanted to spend my time in the studio. not teaching. I think having a art ed degree for the younger students is a must, but for high school and college a masters degree works well. The teacher has focused in an area of art and could help the student do the same. I know in college most of the classes were taught by students getting master degrees, some did well others floundered. Denice

#4 Pres

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

Here is part of the crux of the problem, an advanced degree in Art Ed entails more in the theory of teaching and not much more in the way of studio time. At the same time, the public schools will pay part of the tuition fees, because of requirement laws. However, often they will not support a degree that seems to deviate from the expected. So a teacher going for an MA is may not get tuition supplement. So they go for the MEd. Going for an MFA is most times not an option because of residency requirements.

I took a great deal of course work without being in a grad program, and when I finally decided to get a degree, transferred credits to a school where I would be allowed more art studio and history, along with some pedagogy. Not to say that an MEd does not have studio time, it is just that it is limited. Another thing that happens in the summers at universities as you say, grad students are teaching many of the classes or acting as assistants and are there more than the professors. In this case, often those lowly school teachers had more knowledge than the grad students.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#5 Benzine

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:22 AM

Here is part of the crux of the problem, an advanced degree in Art Ed entails more in the theory of teaching and not much more in the way of studio time. At the same time, the public schools will pay part of the tuition fees, because of requirement laws. However, often they will not support a degree that seems to deviate from the expected. So a teacher going for an MA is may not get tuition supplement. So they go for the MEd. Going for an MFA is most times not an option because of residency requirements.


That is definitely a concern. The educational system, as a whole, doesn't seem interested in distinguishing from the content areas. They instead take a "One size fits all" approach. It would be nice if they said, "Hey, you teach this content area, you should take education classes that focus on that content." Instead, most teachers are required to take the same basic classes, regardless of what their degree is, or what courses they teach.

I was just talking to the High School Band teacher yesterday, and asked him about his Masters. He said his in in Music Education. So if I decide to pursue my Masters, hopefully I can find something more focused, like his.
Right now, I have no immediate plans to get my Masters. However, I teach a college level class, and the cooperating college, has talked about requiring all the High School instructors, who teach their college classes, to have a Masters. Hopefully they don't go through with it. I'm not sure they will, since they have adjuncts, from local businesses, who teach class, and they don't even have an education degree.
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#6 Claypple

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 11:01 AM

Every saying has a ground. It takes a special person to be a teacher, and it takes a special knowledge to be the teacher.
A combination of "I know how to do " + "I know how to share" + "I have an urge to share" = a good teacher.

English is my second language. I was learning it at school, then in the Medical school. Still could not speak it, so I took a couple of classes again.
Still could not speak! I mean, I could read, I could understand, but I needed more. I wanted to be fluent in English! It was my urge.
So I analyzed the situation and came to understanding that what they were teaching me was a language of textbooks and newspapers.
In order to speak a language, you need to think in it! So I started analyzing my thoughts and started translating them into English, and gradually turned all of them into English only. At the same time as I was analyzing the English language, I came to realization that the way they teach in school was wrong!
I actually wrote my own program and had about 100 private students over 2 years. I had a good success. They all started speaking English within 3 months.

So, the same with the good pottery teacher: if he/she has something special to share, some personal knowledge, an urge to do it, then it takes the time away from his productivity. It does not mean that he "cannot do" any more; he is just focused on the teaching.

#7 Pres

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:16 PM

Every saying has a ground. It takes a special person to be a teacher, and it takes a special knowledge to be the teacher.
A combination of "I know how to do " + "I know how to share" + "I have an urge to share" = a good teacher.

English is my second language. I was learning it at school, then in the Medical school. Still could not speak it, so I took a couple of classes again.
Still could not speak! I mean, I could read, I could understand, but I needed more. I wanted to be fluent in English! It was my urge.
So I analyzed the situation and came to understanding that what they were teaching me was a language of textbooks and newspapers.
In order to speak a language, you need to think in it! So I started analyzing my thoughts and started translating them into English, and gradually turned all of them into English only. At the same time as I was analyzing the English language, I came to realization that the way they teach in school was wrong!
I actually wrote my own program and had about 100 private students over 2 years. I had a good success. They all started speaking English within 3 months.

So, the same with the good pottery teacher: if he/she has something special to share, some personal knowledge, an urge to do it, then it takes the time away from his productivity. It does not mean that he "cannot do" any more; he is just focused on the teaching.


For me observing good teachers over the years 3 factors had to be present: enthusiastic love of the subject/media, adequate knowledge of the media/subject, and the desire and ability to impart knowledge of that subject/media to others. There is one other thing I think is really important and that is the hunger to be a life time learner with the questing attitude of a young child.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#8 Benzine

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 05:13 PM


Every saying has a ground. It takes a special person to be a teacher, and it takes a special knowledge to be the teacher.
A combination of "I know how to do " + "I know how to share" + "I have an urge to share" = a good teacher.

English is my second language. I was learning it at school, then in the Medical school. Still could not speak it, so I took a couple of classes again.
Still could not speak! I mean, I could read, I could understand, but I needed more. I wanted to be fluent in English! It was my urge.
So I analyzed the situation and came to understanding that what they were teaching me was a language of textbooks and newspapers.
In order to speak a language, you need to think in it! So I started analyzing my thoughts and started translating them into English, and gradually turned all of them into English only. At the same time as I was analyzing the English language, I came to realization that the way they teach in school was wrong!
I actually wrote my own program and had about 100 private students over 2 years. I had a good success. They all started speaking English within 3 months.

So, the same with the good pottery teacher: if he/she has something special to share, some personal knowledge, an urge to do it, then it takes the time away from his productivity. It does not mean that he "cannot do" any more; he is just focused on the teaching.


For me observing good teachers over the years 3 factors had to be present: enthusiastic love of the subject/media, adequate knowledge of the media/subject, and the desire and ability to impart knowledge of that subject/media to others. There is one other thing I think is really important and that is the hunger to be a life time learner with the questing attitude of a young child.


I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#9 Pres

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:37 PM

I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
[/quote]
Give yourself a gold star on my last point.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#10 Benzine

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:41 PM

[quote name='Pres' date='05 June 2013 - 09:37 PM' timestamp='1370486255' post='36472']
I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
[/quote]
Give yourself a gold star on my last point.
[/quote]

Thanks Pres, but I'm partial to "Scratch and Sniff" Stickers.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#11 OffCenter

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:47 PM

[quote name='Benzine' date='06 June 2013 - 01:41 PM' timestamp='1370540484' post='36501']
[quote name='Pres' date='05 June 2013 - 09:37 PM' timestamp='1370486255' post='36472']
I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
[/quote]
Give yourself a gold star on my last point.
[/quote]

Thanks Pres, but I'm partial to "Scratch and Sniff" Stickers.

[/quote]

I want to give a star to the student that put pupils in your avatar.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#12 Benzine

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:53 PM

[quote name='OffCenter' date='06 June 2013 - 12:47 PM' timestamp='1370540830' post='36503']
[quote name='Benzine' date='06 June 2013 - 01:41 PM' timestamp='1370540484' post='36501']
[quote name='Pres' date='05 June 2013 - 09:37 PM' timestamp='1370486255' post='36472']
I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
[/quote]
Give yourself a gold star on my last point.
[/quote]

Thanks Pres, but I'm partial to "Scratch and Sniff" Stickers.

[/quote]

I want to give a star to the student that put pupils in your avatar.

Jim
[/quote]

If you find out, who it is, let me know. I'd like to have a word with them.....
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#13 Pres

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

[quote name='Benzine' date='06 June 2013 - 12:41 PM' timestamp='1370540484' post='36501']
[quote name='Pres' date='05 June 2013 - 09:37 PM' timestamp='1370486255' post='36472']
I find that conversations, like these, with other teachers and/ or those who are well versed in the content, also provide me with great information. I do learn quite a bit in such discussions, which is why I like to have them. I get a lot of great ideas, and I rethink quite a few things too.
[/quote]
Give yourself a gold star on my last point.
[/quote]

Thanks Pres, but I'm partial to "Scratch and Sniff" Stickers.
[/quote]

Ok one with a well aged clay aroma!Posted Image

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#14 anagama

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

These kinds of threads drive me crazy... I just have to respond. But, I'm also in class right now, but my students are working on their final exam projects... so, I will give it a shot (keep in mind, I've already been interrupted five times.).

I am an artist! I am a teacher (high school, art, particularly ceramics, sculpture and 3-D Design)... and a proponent of a new, soon to be paraphrased statement, "If you can't do it, you can't teach it!". And, given my unique circumstances, I may offer some unique insight to this topic. (sit down, this might take a while).

I grew up in a house with a teacher (math and science), and hearing the arguments at the dinner table over money was enough for me to decide that I would never teach anything! But sometimes, the right fit finds you and not the other way around... and for me, "teaching" was the right fit. How I got there was not how most people get there (and I do, to some extent, agree with what you have to say on that matter.). I went to college to become an artist (at a very reputable school), I earned a BFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics... I have a degree in clay, simply put. And the options for jobs are minimal... so, I went to grad school to earn an MFA in ceramics... to become a professor, like the thousands before me. Only thing... An MFA program is not set up to teach you how to teach, they just hand you opportunities to gain teaching experience in a "sink or swim" fashion. Being young (for an MFA), I dropped out after two years in a three year program. #snowboardbum for a couple years afterward, being bumped from clay studio to factory to summer camps... I've done it all, just about.

At the urging of my mother... I would once again, go back to school... this time, to become a teacher! Most schools offer a "conversion" program for degree students, it's a tag-a-long of educational practices and pedagogy (along with student teaching) that accompany your previously earned degree in your content area. In my opinion, it's the only way teachers should be trained. Content first! Pedagogy second, but you must have both. Educational certification is monitored by the "state". I don't know where you live.... or what state you reside in... or how they go about certifying teachers... and the fact that they pay for some of these courses for you, probably means you're in a nicer place than me. But it's not "states" that make teachers... it's not pedagogy... it's not years... classes... credits... or studio time.

Great teachers make great teachers! And, I have had my fair share... at every grade level throughout... each remembered by name... and modeled after... all with different qualifications, all with different strengths... all with content knowledge! I am an artist because of what I have learned... but I am a teacher because of who taught me. We teach art... why or how... because we were taught by someone. What makes clay/potters unique is, well... working in clay is as old as time... and teaching others how to work in clay has continued since it's inception... in other words, we have the longest line of teachers than any other profession... and one of the proudest lineages that can be followed back almost forever. Who taught you?

So... to answer your inquiry... how long should a program be to teach art teachers... eternity sounds good. I still learn everyday...

As far as creating art... I'm always doing that, not nearly as much as I would like... but I have summers off, and I create in my classroom (quick and fast way to earn students respect)... I have a studio in my basement... I rebuilt my own kiln... my wife bought me a wheel... and I consider my lucky to be in the position that I'm in... because, I don't just make work... I make what I want to make... no stress from the demands of production to make a living, or show deadlines... no "rep" to continue, locked into one easily identifiable style that people associate with me and me only... I am a free artist...

And teaching? I've been teaching high school ceramics for ten years... I've had over a thousand students... that's like almost 4 thousand pinch-pots! I have had tens of students go on to art schools... several who have earned BFA's... four in ceramics... with five master's in Art education... and one owner/operator of a community ceramics studio! And one can not do that if one can not do what they teach.

More importantly, I have always considered myself an artist first... I plan to teach for 20 years (half way done already)... then end as an artist once again!

It's all just how you view your "paradigm".

#15 trina

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:37 PM

These kinds of threads drive me crazy... I just have to respond. But, I'm also in class right now, but my students are working on their final exam projects... so, I will give it a shot (keep in mind, I've already been interrupted five times.).

I am an artist! I am a teacher (high school, art, particularly ceramics, sculpture and 3-D Design)... and a proponent of a new, soon to be paraphrased statement, "If you can't do it, you can't teach it!". And, given my unique circumstances, I may offer some unique insight to this topic. (sit down, this might take a while).

I grew up in a house with a teacher (math and science), and hearing the arguments at the dinner table over money was enough for me to decide that I would never teach anything! But sometimes, the right fit finds you and not the other way around... and for me, "teaching" was the right fit. How I got there was not how most people get there (and I do, to some extent, agree with what you have to say on that matter.). I went to college to become an artist (at a very reputable school), I earned a BFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics... I have a degree in clay, simply put. And the options for jobs are minimal... so, I went to grad school to earn an MFA in ceramics... to become a professor, like the thousands before me. Only thing... An MFA program is not set up to teach you how to teach, they just hand you opportunities to gain teaching experience in a "sink or swim" fashion. Being young (for an MFA), I dropped out after two years in a three year program. #snowboardbum for a couple years afterward, being bumped from clay studio to factory to summer camps... I've done it all, just about.

At the urging of my mother... I would once again, go back to school... this time, to become a teacher! Most schools offer a "conversion" program for degree students, it's a tag-a-long of educational practices and pedagogy (along with student teaching) that accompany your previously earned degree in your content area. In my opinion, it's the only way teachers should be trained. Content first! Pedagogy second, but you must have both. Educational certification is monitored by the "state". I don't know where you live.... or what state you reside in... or how they go about certifying teachers... and the fact that they pay for some of these courses for you, probably means you're in a nicer place than me. But it's not "states" that make teachers... it's not pedagogy... it's not years... classes... credits... or studio time.

Great teachers make great teachers! And, I have had my fair share... at every grade level throughout... each remembered by name... and modeled after... all with different qualifications, all with different strengths... all with content knowledge! I am an artist because of what I have learned... but I am a teacher because of who taught me. We teach art... why or how... because we were taught by someone. What makes clay/potters unique is, well... working in clay is as old as time... and teaching others how to work in clay has continued since it's inception... in other words, we have the longest line of teachers than any other profession... and one of the proudest lineages that can be followed back almost forever. Who taught you?

So... to answer your inquiry... how long should a program be to teach art teachers... eternity sounds good. I still learn everyday...

As far as creating art... I'm always doing that, not nearly as much as I would like... but I have summers off, and I create in my classroom (quick and fast way to earn students respect)... I have a studio in my basement... I rebuilt my own kiln... my wife bought me a wheel... and I consider my lucky to be in the position that I'm in... because, I don't just make work... I make what I want to make... no stress from the demands of production to make a living, or show deadlines... no "rep" to continue, locked into one easily identifiable style that people associate with me and me only... I am a free artist...

And teaching? I've been teaching high school ceramics for ten years... I've had over a thousand students... that's like almost 4 thousand pinch-pots! I have had tens of students go on to art schools... several who have earned BFA's... four in ceramics... with five master's in Art education... and one owner/operator of a community ceramics studio! And one can not do that if one can not do what they teach.

More importantly, I have always considered myself an artist first... I plan to teach for 20 years (half way done already)... then end as an artist once again!

It's all just how you view your "paradigm".



I agree with you completely! Nice post! In the German Language we have a similar saying but I think better: Those who can do nothing become a hotdog sales man, those who can do even less become a hot dog salesman at the train station and those who can do even less than that sell insurance. T

#16 Pres

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 01:18 PM

So you understand my exasperation when dealing with this topic. You have more credentials than I certainly and could have made well in the "studio life". But as you say, if it fits-yeah it did for me and seems to for you. You probably also know that the extra studio areas you received to make you a "jack of all" as an art teacher did you well. That said, it is great that you have such a strong background in one medium. I wish I had had the background there, I got mine from hard knocks of solving dozens of student problems everyday for 36 years. I guess my education just took a little while longer. Point being, which you pointed out-Good teachers are great because they can. I have always said that if I had to rebuild society after an Armageddon, I would start with the staff at the HS I worked at. Simple practical knowledge used to solving problems in a practical world.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#17 Benzine

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 01:24 PM

"I have always said that if I had to rebuild society after an Armageddon, I would start with the staff at the HS I worked at. Simple practical knowledge used to solving problems in a practical world."

....And no legislators to tell us how to teach "Better".
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#18 Wyndham

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

Interesting discussion but it does not address the outcome, the student 20 yrs down the road, as much as it addresses the "teacher group think" Art can not be taught, technique can. We use tools to communicate. We teach tool usage and allow the person receiving the knowledge the freedom to sell insurance.

One potter may see it a chore to produce 100 mugs a day, while another is inwardly rewarded by this days work.
Most folks that I met mention their encounter with clay/art as a nice distraction from the main path of their lives. Even now in my shop, some think that this is a fun hobby. Art does not fit in their world. We are the strangers in their strange land.

Teachers seem to feel comfortable with in a group of teachers. Artist on the other hand are seldom comfortable in life.

I'll not go on too long here, it's just a different POV.
Wyndham

#19 Frederik-W

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:03 AM

I really feel sorry for art teachers who have to put up with kids who have absolutely no talent but their parents insist that they do classes in the false belief that their precious little darlings will become a Rodin, Motzart, Van Gogh etc.

I think there is a lot of truth in the saying that "art can not be taught, technique can".
I would go even further regarding technique - I think people can develop their own skills, sometimes doing things better than the established techniques that are being taught.
A great thing that most art teachers do is to encourage an interest in art, but if a student has no talent there is not much you can do.


#20 maorili

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:43 AM

and that is the hunger to be a life time learner with the questing attitude of a young child.

Thank you, Pres, this statement really makes my day! It is much about my attitude in life. :)src="http://ceramicartsda...ult/smile.gif">

In my opinion, to be a good teacher, you must not only be an artist, but you have to rethink about the methods and skills to be able to explain them in a good and encouraging way. Teaching tools usage can be one part of this. How someone (the learner) than gets the best results may be a very personal way.

And I agree, some persons are really no artist and it's difficult do try to teach them. But sometimes I am sooo surprised to reveal artistic skills in a beginner that only had to be discovered and trained. That are the moments that reward you for all the bored ones in a clay course that were send to be there but don't want to. :Dsrc="http://ceramicartsda...t/biggrin.gif">
greetings
Gabi
http://maoridesign.jimdo.com/
Necessity is the mother of invention




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