Magazine article Art Education

Reflection and Dialogue

Magazine article Art Education

Reflection and Dialogue

Article excerpt

This issue is about reflection and dialogue. It is about thinking about what has happened, assessing the situation, and then speaking about it.

I often tell my preservice students that among the most important qualities you can develop as a teacher is the ability to develop a critical eye for what you are doing, what is working, and how you can make it better. That is, as "one of the most valuable tools a teacher has," (Simpson, Delaney, et al, 1998), reflective thinking is an important part of what good teachers do. Wolf and Pistone (1991) note that assessment can empower students to become "rigorous critics of their own work" (p. 8). Good teachers need to use such a rigorous, critical eye to look at what and how they teach.

One article in this issue uses reality television shows as a means to reflect on issues related to student teaching. Two articles employ a dialogue format that is not typical for this journal, although effective in conveying the ideas central to their particular arguments. As they reviewed the manuscripts for this issue, members of the Editorial Board and Review Panel used phrases such as "art educators need to be challenged with this topic" and "a topic that is in dire need of attention" and "we should encourage and support (and publish) experimental approaches and forms." I agreed with them. But, conventional or not, each author provides a specific viewpoint and request for thoughtful reflection about what we do and say as artists and educators.

Student teachers and their university advisor reflect on their artmaking and art teaching as the characters in a script written by George Szekely. Reality television shows are the lens through which Christina Bain reflects on the preparation of preservice art teachers. Mary Jane Zander explores the place of dialogue and questioning strategies in the teaching environment and Sydney Walker helps us see the importance of reflecting on the artmaking process. …

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