Critical skills

13th July 2001 at 01:00
WHILE it is gratifying to see the purpose of art teaching discussed in The TES, I feel that some of the arguments quoted are like suggesting that GCSE science is flawed because Einstein never completed the papers it requires of students.

Art education must be more than the completion of finished pieces, if the experience of so many of my peers in art lessons of the 1970s is not to be repeated by today's children.

Iwas enthused by the same things as my art teacher and had opportunities for personal exploration and expression, aided by the vision of artists to whose work I had been introduced.

For the overwhelming majority of my classmates, however, art was a subject, which, although initially pleasantly recreational, was ultimately unsatisfactory, since almost nothing was taught or learned. It is the responsibility of art teachers to enrich the lives of all students by helping them investigate the world and its art as well as by empowering them to express themselves visually.

The development of critical, as well as expressive and practical, skills fuels, rather than stifles, creativity in all of us.

Martin Tyler Newlands Girls' School Farm Road Maidenhead, Berkshire

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