My name is Melanie Stein and I am the art teacher at Cool Spring Elementary School. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida in Pensacola Florida in Art Education K-12. I have been teaching art in public schools for 14 years, with 6 years in Loudoun County Public Schools. I love what I do and feel so lucky to get to come to school every day and “play with paint and clay with students.”
Art classes at Cool Spring ES are 50 minutes long and meet once a week. Paint shirts (large men’s dress shirts) are provided to the students during “messy” lessons, however, accidents do happen. It is a good idea to check with your student’s schedule to see when they have art and try to dress your student appropriately. Students are also welcome to bring their own paint smock to school on the days they have art. Your student will not need any supplies for art because everything is provided in the class room.
The art curriculum is based on Loudoun County Public Schools’ Art Standards of Achievement (SOAs) LCPS Visual Arts Program. These standards were created from the Virginia State Standards of Learning (SOLs) in Art Virginia State Standards of Learning in Art, which are based on the National Standards for Arts education National Standards for Arts Education.
The curriculum focuses on art production, art history, art criticism and aesthetics. Each grade level will learn a variety of art mediums including: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpting, Assembling and Imaging. The curriculum has also been integrated with the grade level SOLs where ever possible in order to do cross curriculum teaching through social studies, math, science and reading.
10 Lessons the Arts Teach
1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it
is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications. NAEA grants reprint permission for this excerpt from Ten Lessons with proper acknowledgment of its source and NAEA.