April 17th, 2014 - 11:43 AM
Guest blogger Glen Kessler, an artist and teacher, takes on the art schools and shares his thoughts on changing the very structure of learning.
Today, whether you’re taking art classes at a university or in open-enrollment classes/workshops at your local community center, you are most likely learning in the ‘a-la-carte mode.’ You grab classes from a buffet of options as your interests dictate and hope to improve through the accumulation of lessons learned.
But is this model truly the best way to learn art? Some today argue strongly NO.
Universities wrestle constantly with the ‘a-la-carte mode’ of offering classes (that is, how much freedom to give their students in crafting their schedules) versus enforcing a more regimented progression of classes with fewer electives. On the one side, freedom to choose likely means students are more engaged in the classes they take.
However, that freedom may mean that students graduate with holes in their knowledge. Dictating what students must take may guard against such holes. But administrations focused on their bottom line fear its possible rejection from a student body accustomed to more freedom.