Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Progressive Art Revolution Through Technology?

All forms of technological advances over the course of history, from the written text of demonstrative books to the now prevalent white boards and Internet, have been established by innovative, creative minds who wanted to help instill an elevated culture in future generations, adequate social morals and values and to make knowledge more readily available. An educational revolution, like that of the early twentieth century may well be at hand.
“Progressive reformers believed that Americans had a social responsibility to change traditional patterns of behavior into patterns that were both conducive to regular work and tolerant of the accompanying boredom.” (Stankiewicz, 69) Today’s thrust into the modern world of visual over-stimulus could not only aide the art educator’s relation of cultural history, design methods, appreciation and color theory, but can also lend to an evolution of change by keeping students interested. “Access to images made possible by computers and the Internet” (Stankiewicz, 114) could serve as models but, time may be the greatest factor in holding most of these teachers back from exploring this avenue in its fullest capacity.
Many, if not all, arts programs are set on the back burners of our educational systems, the first to be cut when the budget is tight, therefore programs exist in time frames of half hour periods, once a week, if not once a month, which creates “a failure” for art educators “to use this great result of modern enterprise as a factor in the mental and spiritual training of the youth of today.” (Stankeiwicz, 107)
Institutions, agencies, publications and others that aid in the education process for the importance of the arts, like that of Davis Art, the publisher of School Arts magazine, established in 1901, http://www.davisart.com, have been leading the way to create an ideal environment for learning and expressing through use of written word, pictures and also audio presentations. “Early twentieth-century…school art” once “emerged as a series of simplified projects, often lacking in content,” (Stankiewicz, 81) which may be another reason technology is oft not included into an arts discipline. While teachers will argue that there is not time enough in a class period, there is still time enough to demonstrate with it, because the school should be seen as “a repository of ‘the fading culture of the past’ as well as an active agent of the present.” (Stankiewicz, 79-80)
            Are art educators speaking against educating to our consumerist conformity through the non-use of this media “a stereotyped, frivolous incursion on the real work of art learning…the rise of consumer values” (Stankiewicz, 67-68), trying to remain true to the original voice of the aesthetics of the arts as a hand-eye visual media? As it is in business, immediate results can not be expected when an idea is conceived, a product is introduced or a theory of practice released, neither can this question expect a quick answer. The discipline can only strive forward toward the future as anything else, using the tools possessed, to the best knowledge, with the time allowed.

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