After a long and interesting conversation with first a former colleague of mine and later a mother of a student, this topic strikes my attention....
Art teachers vs. art teachers....
There are two kinds: The "art is all about technique and perfection" teacher and the "art is more than a perfect line" teacher. Of course there is something in between, but usually everybody has a tendency to one end of the scale.
Guess which end you find me.... of course free expression, until: Students have left school and they have made the decision to become an architect, graphic designer or go to art school (hmm, not even sure about that one)... Here they should learn how to draw as realistic as possible. But in school?!:! NO! Students should discover the joy of art, the joy of expressing themselves and discovering their creativity.
We are talking about problem solving all the time, about the importance to think fast, think differently. The next generation is facing issues we never had to deal with. So why don't we let them figure out how to create things and how to solve problems. In art we can do this. With an open mind and an open heart. A student can't draw a nose?!?! of course I can show them, but why not let them discover a way to show that they think is a nose. Let them look at noses (mostly there are 24 examples or more around them) and give them the tools to start.
During my art teacher training we had to built a stage. A little small one. I got the perspective completely wrong, and my audience would have been supposed to fly in the sky to see, which I wanted them to see. My lecturer was trying for 2 minutes to explain, but it was obvious that I had twisted my brain, so I went out and looked at perspective in nature, I discussed with my classmates and after a while I understood. Because I wanted to learn and there was the freedom for mistakes.
I don't understand and probably will never understand why some art teachers need to be so strict and tied up, why not teach fun first and then we can show later in life how we THINK it is correct.
And in this way we can make sure: Everybody is an artist!? Really!