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Example Of Short Writing Assgiment In Japanese Ceramic Art History.


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#1 JBaymore

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:16 AM

I thought that maybe some of you CAD forum folks who don't have access to formal college level ceramics educational programs might be interested in seeing a sample of a short (only a few pages) writing assignment.  This is from my 400 level History of Japanese Ceramics class.  In this class we have been recently studying the Kofun Jidai (period) and looking at images of a LOT of figurative Haniwa sculptures (from my extensive image collection shot in Japan).  They have also been reading about the developing Shinto religon in one of the 5 texts that are used in the course (a comparative religions text).  This is an early course writing assignment in preparation for more involved and lenghty papers later.

 

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While there is a great diversity of figurative Haniwa produced during the Late Kofun Judai, arguably there are some aesthetic characteristics that the individual pieces tend to share as an overall group.

 

Please address how you believe that the developing Shinto beliefs being codified and refined during the late Kofun Jidai have possibly impacted the development of these figures as to both the selection of the content used as well as the overall aesthetics exhibited in the execution of these figures.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

best,

 

...................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#2 timbo_heff

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:47 PM

JB: I just got a nice book at a used book store last weekend: The World of Japanese Ceramics (sawyer)

Maybe I'll be able to take a stab at the assignment after I read it (and a few hundred other books )

 

All night stoking on a noribigama tonight though so I won't have my paper for you tomorrow, teacher san. (;



#3 Benzine

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

We are REQUIRED to teach writing this year. Normally, not a big deal, as Imalways trynto incorporate some writing in my courses. However, we are expected to take time out to teach paragraph writing, which I'm not thrilled with.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#4 JBaymore

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

Benzine,

 

I find that (generalization coming.... always wrong) the writing skills of the college students that I see in my classes (studio, technical, and art history classes) are steadily getting worse and worse as time goes by.  For YEARS I have ended up spending time in my classes talking about and showing good writing (as well as working on effective study skills and time management).

 

Comes with the territory in colleges these days, I guess.  Sometimes i feel like I am teaching "High School II".

 

best,

 

.......................john


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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#5 Benzine

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:15 PM

John, the thing about generalizations is that they are generally true....

I have little doubt that you are encountering worsening writing skills, at the college level. I have seen the writing skills, of high school students, decline in the relatively short time I've been teaching.
I remember reading an article several years ago, discussing the decline in spelling and grammar, due to instant messaging and texting. Since then, Facebook has come around, then Twitter, Tumblr, and most recently Snapchat.
With many of those applications, short messages are preferred if not required. So users have gotten accustomed to their abbreviated writing styles and continue to use them everywhere out of habit. Along with that, the aforementioned apps, are all about getting "information" passed as soon as possible. So no one tends to take the time to check spelling/ grammar, as long as they are the first to break some news, or comment on said news.
So writing for a lot of my students, and society in general, is a combination of "Don't know how to do it right" and "Don't Care they aren't doing it right".

As I said previously, I have no problem beingnpart of the solution. I require students to write via critiques/ reflections. I expect them to write in complete sentences and use correct spelling/ grammar. But just as you feel like you are teaching high school John, being required to teach basic paragraph writing makes me feel like I'm teaching elementary. I we have upper level expectations for our students, that's what we should teach. If there are some that previously slipped through the cracks and need help, we can deal with them one on one.

Well, my break is over, back to glazing.......Sadly windows, not ceramics......
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#6 Pres

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:56 PM

Sadly enough, even though much of what you folks say is true, there is the group of students that got it. Yeah, they got it in grade school, and Jr High, and still got it in HS. These students are bored to tears when the teacher of other subjects has to back step to try and bring the weaker writers up to page. It is and will continue to be a difficult task. I know of one student that continuously would say that the writing rules stifled her creativity, and that even though she knew them she refused to use them. I kept telling her to prove that she knew how to use them, and that they were pathways not road blocks to creativity.  I didn't get through to her until her second year in college-old Dad really didn't count.


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


#7 Benzine

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:19 PM

Sadly enough, even though much of what you folks say is true, there is the group of students that got it. Yeah, they got it in grade school, and Jr High, and still got it in HS. These students are bored to tears when the teacher of other subjects has to back step to try and bring the weaker writers up to page. It is and will continue to be a difficult task. I know of one student that continuously would say that the writing rules stifled her creativity, and that even though she knew them she refused to use them. I kept telling her to prove that she knew how to use them, and that they were pathways not road blocks to creativity.  I didn't get through to her until her second year in college-old Dad really didn't count.


The funny thing about your story Pres, is that I kind of have a similar discussion with students regarding art. They want to draw, paint, sculpt using a certain style and specified subject matter. They don't know why I require them to do "Boring still lifes" or linear perspective. They already know what they want to make, so why should they have to do that stuff?....... And I say the same thing you did Pres, "Prove to me, that you understand, and can technically accomplish the basics of Art." I mention that even Picasso had to start withthe basics. He didn't begin painting and say, "I think I'll geometrically distort my subject matter and play around with perspective in my works."
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#8 JBaymore

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:37 PM

These students are bored to tears when the teacher of other subjects has to back step to try and bring the weaker writers up to page. It is and will continue to be a difficult task.

 

I try to do this outside of the regular class time so that the ones that "get it" don't get penalized.  Yup.... makes it harder for me :rolleyes: .

 

best,

 

............................john

 

PS:  Someday she will see that somehow her dad got smarter and smarter as she got older.  ;)


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#9 mrcasey

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:39 PM

I have absolutely no background in fine art/history.  My interest in pottery is entirely an outgrowth of my obsession with bonsai.  As I understand it, bonsai didn’t come to Japan (from China) till much later than the Kofun Judai.  That said, I’d love to read what you have to write about this period of Japanese art history. 

 

casey



#10 Pres

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:41 AM

Ben, I did immense numbers of still lifes when teaching the Art 2 classes. These got to be pretty creative with bands of shifting values on the drawing, other quirky rules I made up to get the still life out of the realm of photographic. I pushed value ranges, and intensity of light and dark. The drawing were usually 18X24 in size, and would take a while, but many kids used them in college portfolios to good effect. This type of "academic" practice usually impresses college portfolio reviewers. I did a lot with perspective and point of view also.

 

John, in public school, it is tough to find the time to be able to bring others up to par with side time. I usually left the building at 6pm, as often I would have students working on projects, and sometimes paper work, sometimes after school detention(very little). I used this time especially with those that really wanted to get ahead, as they were there when I would announce that I was staying late-usually every night. In the long run much got done in the 3 hrs after school.


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


#11 Wyndham

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

I recently saw a program on the History Channel that answered many questions about human development. Ants have a very simple brain that basically looks for food, while trailing a scent trail, since they "No got Eyes". Upon find food, each ant that finds food returns to the nest. They multiply on the successful trails and delete the nonprofitable trails.

Whether we are talking about history or physics, society or reason, we are following the same model.

 

So as to your original question:

"

Please address how you believe that the developing Shinto beliefs being codified and refined during the late Kofun Jidai have possibly impacted the development of these figures as to both the selection of the content used as well as the overall aesthetics exhibited in the execution of these figures."

 

And to the other post on quantum physics, which is, If they had fed the cat, he would not have killed himself :)

 

"Ants"

 

I would "text" this but I can't spell text language and not so "good" at English as well.

 

I hope you put "Ants" in the shortest answer to any exam you ever posted.:)

Let's all have a Merry Christmas and great New Year

Wyndham



#12 Babs

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:36 PM

What is the purpose of language?  Communication of what?

If as said by whoever, language is the vehicle for thought, what gives?

With present and future technology we are seeing a merging of oral language style and written language.

If our youth are not able to communicate their thoughts to us thro their use of language , do we have to change , or they?

Teaching of reading and writing at Elementary level passes through amazing changes every few years it seems, and all existing methods are flung out!

A recent trend was prediction! Alongside lots of pictures cueing the text. Some students learn literacy despite the teachers, many get it after some teaching methods and sadly a few, no. seem to be growing, don't get it.

Now wait for it, there has been a recent discovery of PHONICS and word building, well I never!!

All teachers have to teach language skills, can't help ourselves really, but being asked to teach specific l. skills as part of all subjects is rich.

Applied across the whole curriculum, if the school pop. is found to be lacking in knowledge in say physics, once the National testing takes in that, why Ben you'lll have to fit english, physics and all else into your arts programme. This is when it may come that there are no specialist teachers in high schools, just every teacher teaching to the Nat. tests, mediocrity.

Not having had to type much till latter part of my life, I have found my written vocab changed, and my typing cannot keep apace with my brain, frustrated.. Getting thoughts down out there for students of poor literary skills must suck, not a word of my vintage!

Instant results... that's why I used to use the design cycle a lot,  teach tech. required, practice, set task, show me three or more sketches, select with reasons, go for  the real deal, critique the result with regard to the task set, refine etc. remake.

Talk about it, write about it,  a choice.



#13 RuthB

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:11 AM

I recently saw a program on the History Channel that answered many questions about human development. Ants have a very simple brain that basically looks for food, while trailing a scent trail, since they "No got Eyes". Upon find food, each ant that finds food returns to the nest. They multiply on the successful trails and delete the nonprofitable trails.

Whether we are talking about history or physics, society or reason, we are following the same model.

 

So as to your original question:

"

Please address how you believe that the developing Shinto beliefs being codified and refined during the late Kofun Jidai have possibly impacted the development of these figures as to both the selection of the content used as well as the overall aesthetics exhibited in the execution of these figures."

 

And to the other post on quantum physics, which is, If they had fed the cat, he would not have killed himself :)

 

"Ants"

 

I would "text" this but I can't spell text language and not so "good" at English as well.

 

I hope you put "Ants" in the shortest answer to any exam you ever posted. :)

Let's all have a Merry Christmas and great New Year

Wyndham

I just finished All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen, a mystery featuring mathematicians, fractals and Chaos Theory. The story fell apart a bit at the end, but there were plenty of good old "tecting twists along the way to keep me interested. The Ants theorem would have fit in nicely.

 

Ruth



#14 Benzine

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:19 AM

The problem with language and writing, is that it is a constantly changing "organism".  It advances, it evolves.  I was talking with one of the English teachers in my school, about text language.  I joked about it becoming ingrained into our language.  He then pointed out that English is a very different beast, than it was one, two hundred years ago.  Look at Old, Old English, it is almost unidentifiable as the English language. 

Then we have rules for sentence construction, punctuation, spelling, that are not only confusing to begin with, but in some cases have been changed and disregarded, without telling anyone. 

 

Norm, I agree that children should be taught another language, from an early age.  I know that some schools do incorporate this, but I would wager there are quite a few hold outs.

The question is, what would be the second language?  Spanish would make sense, based on the large influx of Spanish speaking immigrants.  But in regards to the global market, it would also make sense to teach Japanese, or one of the most widely spoken Chinese dialects.


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#15 Benzine

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:42 AM

Ben, I did immense numbers of still lifes when teaching the Art 2 classes. These got to be pretty creative with bands of shifting values on the drawing, other quirky rules I made up to get the still life out of the realm of photographic. I pushed value ranges, and intensity of light and dark. The drawing were usually 18X24 in size, and would take a while, but many kids used them in college portfolios to good effect. This type of "academic" practice usually impresses college portfolio reviewers. I did a lot with perspective and point of view also.

 

John, in public school, it is tough to find the time to be able to bring others up to par with side time. I usually left the building at 6pm, as often I would have students working on projects, and sometimes paper work, sometimes after school detention(very little). I used this time especially with those that really wanted to get ahead, as they were there when I would announce that I was staying late-usually every night. In the long run much got done in the 3 hrs after school.

The still life drawings I do, are only about 9X12", but that's in my beginning class.  In my Painting class, we do them as watercolor, and they are about the size that you mentioned, since it's easier to cover space with paint washes, than it is with charcoal.  I've been looking for a slightly different project to do with my Drawing class.  I may go with a larger still life, since they will be used to doing a small one with the intro class, they have to take.  I've been slowly altering the curriculum, in the past couple years, as my time in the district increases.  Hopefully those changes are for the better.

 

I wish I could put the time in you did Pres.  I do come in a little early, and stay a little late, but not nearly as late as you did.  I've got a daughter to pick up from daycare, by a certain time, so I really don't have the option.  Maybe, when she gets in school, I'll be able to offer more time for the students to come in outside of class. 

I will say however, I don't like students to depend on my willingness to come in early and stay late.  For some of the students, they need the time.  They either just work slower, or put so much time and detail into their work, that they legitimately  need the time.  There are those however, who waste time, and then want to cram in all their work time, right before a deadline.  I don't feel sorry for those students, and I tell them as much.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#16 Pres

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:58 AM

The last 10-15 years of my career my schedule revolved around my class time, after school time and the two plays that the drama department put on. There were two productions each year, one a straight show, and one a musical. I was the set designer and set crew manager. This entailed about 5 months out of my year that I was usually in school until 10pm every night. Most of the studio time after school happened until about 4-5 at this time. Long hours, lots of hard work. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably have pushed for a co-manager. At the time I didn't realize how much it was playing on my health. In the end, it was one of the things contributing to the onset of diabetes. So maybe you are smart to relegate your time thoughtfully.


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


#17 Benzine

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:35 PM

The last 10-15 years of my career my schedule revolved around my class time, after school time and the two plays that the drama department put on. There were two productions each year, one a straight show, and one a musical. I was the set designer and set crew manager. This entailed about 5 months out of my year that I was usually in school until 10pm every night. Most of the studio time after school happened until about 4-5 at this time. Long hours, lots of hard work. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably have pushed for a co-manager. At the time I didn't realize how much it was playing on my health. In the end, it was one of the things contributing to the onset of diabetes. So maybe you are smart to relegate your time thoughtfully.

Funny you should say that, I painted a small part of the the musical set, this Fall, last minute.  One of the English teachers/ Musical Sponsor, needed it done, and I knew it wouldn't take me long.

She then asked about my Art Club maybe helping with future productions.  I said that could be a possibility.  However, like you mentioned, the Musical/ Play folks are usually there until 10pm.  I told her, that we couldn't put in that amount of time.

One of the community parents also helps with the Musical.  She asked if my classes, could help with things for the Musical.  I answered "No" immediately.  I always have found it amusing, when people, including other staff, seem to think, that I don't have a curriculum to follow.  "Oh sure, we can take a break from our aimless doodling and paint splattering, to make something for whoever asks."

 

In regards to the writing portion of the topic, I forgot to mention that we had a "Expert" come and talk to our staff this year for professional development.  We each had these huge binders full of standards and such.  The writing expectations for a first grader sounded like things you'd expect out of a high school student.  So we were all taken aback.  Then, the presenter proceeds to go over ways, that we can teach proper sentence and paragraph writing.  She however watered it down, like we were teaching it to elementary students.  This was a room full of Junior/ Senior High School staff.  We spent most of the time, in the two FULL days with the presenter, using visual aids to present sentence/ paragraph construction, including using colored children's building blocks to demonstrate said construction.  It had us all banging out heads.  The presenter was frustrated that we weren't completely on board with all these "great" ideas. 

It was essentially a waste of two P.D. days, that could have been better spent on things that we will actually follow up on.  We were asked to all become English teachers, and devote several days out of our content curriculum to behave as such.  I haven't talked to a single teacher, who doesn't think that writing in their content area, isn't something that they should include.  But at the same time, each expected that the students should know how to write a basic sentence and paragraph, before they get to Middle/ High School.  And that leads me to the other problem, the district started this focus on writing, with the upper levels.  So if the district does have issues with writing, the incoming Middle/ High School students will still be ill-prepared.  It remind me of a scene from a Simpsons episode, where Bart is sent to a remedial class.  The students in the class, are doing extremely basic work.  So Bart makes the comment, "Let me get this straight.  You expect us to catch up, by going slower than everyone else?" 

That seems to be the state of education.  We are expecting less and less of our students, because we are afraid, "They might struggle and not get it".

Businesses are looking for workers, who can carry out tasks using the upper levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  Sadly, as much as we try, we aren't really expecting the students to use them in school.  We say we expect them to do so, but it many times doesn't end up as so.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#18 JBaymore

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 12:19 PM

Probably 75-80% of the students I see in collge can't write to any kind of collegiate academic standards.  In talking to colleagues at other institutions... they say pretty much the same thing.

 

This is NOT the fault of the ART TEACHER not teaching writing. :rolleyes:

 

best,

 

........................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#19 Babs

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:23 PM

Do the students have an adequate vocabulary, can they express their thoughts and ideas orally to a high level of academic standard, do the Institutions have to go to another form of assessment? 

Just questions, but I feel that if they cannot express their thoughts and ideas adequately, then the educaton system is failing.

An excolleague was a language teacher and was trying to set up penfriends with an Asian country. He was embarrassed to find tht the yr 4 Indonesian students had a much more advanced literary level of English than his YR 7 English speaking Australian students.



#20 Benzine

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:07 PM

Probably 75-80% of the students I see in collge can't write to any kind of collegiate academic standards.  In talking to colleagues at other institutions... they say pretty much the same thing.

 

This is NOT the fault of the ART TEACHER not teaching writing. :rolleyes:

 

best,

 

........................john

I don't know John, they tell us we all need to "Contribute"..... 

Basically, that seemed to be the gist of it, when other content areas asked, "Why we were expected to take time out of our curriculum, to focus on basic writing skills?"  Some of the English teachers got a little miffed, when we'd ask such a thing.  Others, fully agreed.  My point was, if I'm taking time out of my class, to teach the basics of English, are the English teachers taking time out of theirs to teach the Elements and Principles of Design?

 

What's even worse is that next year, we are focusing on Standard Based Grading.  I don't have a problem with this, as it's essentially the way I've always taught.  But we are expected to spend this year getting our standards ready for next year, and even "practice" implementing them.  But we spent two full PD days, and several classroom days, focusing on writing, which unless you teach English, has nothing to do with your content.  Along with that, let's say they expect us to continue taking class time out for writing, or continue the PD down the road.  How can we work that in, when we are also supposed to be meeting all of our standards?  It's really not, and we shouldn't be expected to do so.

 

Do the students have an adequate vocabulary, can they express their thoughts and ideas orally to a high level of academic standard, do the Institutions have to go to another form of assessment? 

Just questions, but I feel that if they cannot express their thoughts and ideas adequately, then the educaton system is failing.

An excolleague was a language teacher and was trying to set up penfriends with an Asian country. He was embarrassed to find tht the yr 4 Indonesian students had a much more advanced literary level of English than his YR 7 English speaking Australian students.

I don't feel the educational system is failing.  But it is struggling to keep up.  There are so many factors working against it.  Technology is moving fast, and while it can supplement education, much of it works better to distract students (phones, tablets, etc.).  And using that technology are a bunch of students, who have so much.  They don't have to work for anything.  They don't see much need to get better, because they are so used to having things come easy.  And when things do get difficult, they get frustrated and shut down.  They expect A's.  They still want good grades, no doubt, because they want to go to college, because their parents expect that.  But actually putting in time and effort to get those A's, ridiculous!  And sometimes, the parents aren't much help.  They either expect the same easy way through, or just don't care at all.

I'm not absolving teachers of their responsibility, just saying there are many more factors, than most people realize.  In fact, I was at a PD day, for one of my previous districts, and the presenter, flat out said, "You can't blame the parents"....At all.....  I was done listening to her at that point.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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