The first step in managing a problem is identifying it. Dr. Arthur Efland identified the "School Art style" in the 1970s to describe the cookie-cutter art and forgery genre of art that pervades some school art programs. Today, a half a century later, we're still doing our best to make the "School Art style" a thing of the past. Chances are, it will still be here fifty years from now, in some shape or form. Problems never completely disappear perhaps. But things can get better. And I think they do - they will. Maybe that's the artistic way to look things, with the belief that we can create something better than what was here before. That we can add something - even just a mark stating simply "I was here."
Last month Dr. Efland passed. I never personally got to interact with him that I can recall. But in his writing he is a 'friend of mind' for me and his work is one of the inspirations behind this website, Carl the Color Wheel, the work that I do, and that I hope to do still. Dr. Efland added something. And it was meaningful.
We carry on his legacy when our students' artwork is meaningful, unique, and most importantly, when it belongs to our students. Bon voyage, Dr. Efland. You were the original Color Wheel Killer.
I'll mostly be blogging about my experiences teaching. I teach a class online right now called Teaching K12 Art Online where I'll be exploring art online with art teachers. I also currently teach a (formerly?) face-to-face course called Visual Culture: Investigating Diversity & Social Justice which is an art, critical writing, and research course for undergrads. Before this, I taught a class called Art Curriculum & Concepts for Teachers where I was experimenting with cooperative & creative teaching integrating art and "going gradeless" with preservice early childhood education majors.