Visual Arts / Edition 1

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If you ask a child to draw you a picture, you'll get an instant response, for the visual arts are natural means of expression that students of all ages use confidently, and often with stunning directness and depth. And for a teacher, incorporating visual arts throughout the curriculum builds in a level of energy, enthusiasm, and insight that can only enhance children's learning experiences.

Visual Arts as a Way of Knowing is a serious yet fun resource for teachers who are curious about art and know that it can be an important part of their teaching. The book is meant to tease out the artist in you,to encourage you to take risks and delve into painting or drawing or just making things. For like writing, art is a matter of taking risks that can lead to wonderful rewards. Karolynne Gee draws on the stories of teachers and the reflections of children who have discovered they can create, and for whom that discovery is the great "Aha!". From that point on, you know how to make creative and aesthetic choices based on the principles of art, and art becomes a powerful tool in thinking, learning and problem solving.

Visual Arts as a Way of Knowing features

  • discussion of visual arts content, principles, techniques, and applications;
  • guidance in planning and facilitating projects and assessing them with students;
  • practical classroom management strategies to support learning in arts and across the curriculum;
  • ideas for art specialists and teaching colleagues;
  • strong support for teachers as risk-takers and learners alongside their students;
  • a wealth of illustrations from fine arts, computer art, and student work that includes a range of work to show there is no "right way;"
  • charts and field notes that can help you get started on a project or gives you a new way of looking at a topic.
Visual Arts as a Way of Knowing blurs the lines between formal and informal art as well as between teacher and learner. It will provide many interdisciplinary connections and ways for you to think about integrating visual art in a thoughtful way and discovering new problems that will stimulate your own and your students' thinking.
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Editorial Reviews

Discussing approaches to art in a book format is always difficult, frequently falling into the pitfall of making the approach formulaic instead of intuitive. This book generally avoids this problem and is surprisingly well done, keeping sight of what is truly necessary to art—creativity and individuality. The author adds the philosophy that art should be integrated into everyday life, especially into the lives of schoolchildren. Combining these two elements, this title creates an excellent viewpoint from which to guide anyone over the threshold and into the world of art. Displaying a great deal of thought and research, pages throughout are scattered with brief reviews, called "Shop Talk," of all kinds of books that would be helpful to teachers and parents in dealing with the topics that the author addresses, making this book an outstanding reference point for people in the field. Gee respects and incorporates any good, creative ideas she comes across, always giving credit to the teacher or person she has observed using it. Applicable anecdotes from teachers are highlighted in boxes called "Field Notes: Teacher to Teacher." The author addresses approaches to line, color, and design as well as different art mediums. Gee is not nearly so interested in technique, however, as in teaching children to learn to see and to be intuitive and creative, and along the way art opens doors to learning many things. Significantly, she recognizes and addresses teachers' own inhibitions about doing art with their students. The final touch to this excellent book is the addition of not only a professional bibliography but also an extensive children's bibliography that offers a wide range of books foryoung people to explore. Illus. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. 1999, Stenhouse, 192p, $18.50 Oversize pb. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Sallie Lowenstein

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

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