David W. Ecker
Hausman, Jerome J., Arts & Activities
History is made up of the stories we tell about people and events. Despite our best efforts to assemble these accounts, there is so much that is lost. I fear my tale of David W. Ecker will be one of many lost in the sands of time. He's currently living in New Hampshire, and maintaining an apartment in Greenwich Village, N.Y., with his wife, Willavene, who continues to teach at New York University. I continue to refer to him as "young David Ecker," even though he is now "retired" and clearly has achieved "senior-citizen" status.
Ecker grew up on Long Island, N.Y. After high school, he attended SUNY Farmingdale (State University of New York). During the Korean War, he served as a commanding officer of an Army intelligence unit, and was awarded a Bronze Star and two battle stars. I remember hearing his tales of combat on Pork Chop Hill.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY and Albright Art School in Buffalo, and spent 1956 teaching at the American Community School in Asuncion, Paraguay, where he met and married his first wife, Gloria.
He was an art teacher at Babylon High School in New York (1957-58), and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received a master's degree. Between 1959 and 1960 he was a part-time instructor teaching philosophy of education at Wayne State University. In 1960, he joined the faculty of the school of art at Ohio State University (OSU).
It was around this time I came to know David Ecker. His article, "Toward a Philosophy of Art Education," was published in the NAEA Research Yearbook that I edited. What a treat to have him as a friend and colleague: robust and energetic, well grounded in philosophy and aesthetics, and a talented teacher! I consider his article, "The Artistic Process as Qualitative Problem Solving" (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1963), to be one of our most insightful statements bringing together philosophy and teaching practice at the time.
While on the faculty at OSU, Ecker worked on numerous projects. Perhaps most important was his participation in organizing the Seminar in Art Education for Research and Curriculum Development, held at Pennsylvania State University in 1966. Later that same year, he was the project director for "Improving the Teaching of Art Appreciation," a U.S. Office of Education Cooperative Research Project in 1966. Together with Elliot Eisner he edited …
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Publication information: Article title: David W. Ecker. Contributors: Hausman, Jerome J. - Author. Magazine title: Arts & Activities. Volume: 150. Issue: 3 Publication date: November 2011. Page number: 13. © 2009 Publishers' Development Corporation. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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