Thursday, July 09, 2015

Education Secretary Needs Educating

Drawing found in the lab of the engineer/technologist.

British Education secretary Nicky Morgan wants us to know that people who choose study art do it because they don't know what else to do. 

She is a proponent of the STEM subjects.  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and as they say in the UK, maths.
The idea behind the STEM is to educate towards a career choice, early.  Get the sausage factory making sausage as it were. 

Just to put it back into the real world.  Quite a few people are artists, and come into this world that way, and give great gifts to the hungry young minds who will indeed work in technology, making things which work best when designed well from the inside out.  Those people will work in buildings that must be designed to provide comfort and beauty, if I may use such a backward term.

Science has used the drawing tools to think, since way before Leonardo's day.  Drawing and brain function are linked in powerful ways and the overlap is used by scientists, technologists, engineers, and the maths peoples.  But there are also actual artists living and working and teaching in the midst of, and with, these thinkers and doers. 

As a teaching artist,  I teach near a naval station, and Boeing.
Most of my students have some connection to designing and making the products of these places.  Also, most of them are continually studying art, and are good at working with a conversation between the head and hands.  I just put some of the heart part into it.  It is certain that these people do their jobs better for taking the time to study art.  Many of them had art teachers in school.  A situation that they all say gave them something that they use in life and work, and when they retire, it is what keeps them learning.

The technology world here makes things which would be nothing without design, and art. Every screen we look at, and the guts behind it, requires a measure of form, composition, clarity, and color.  

Whatever Nicky Morgan may think, art is here to stay.  But what she says about art courses being chosen by the lost and misguided. That is an insult not just to artists,  but to everyone.

In the end here, I feel as though I am trying to justify something that does not need, and never has needed justifying.  Out to my studio for the rest of the day.  Never for one moment have I been unsure of my path in life, and the artists I know, the one's who do it full time, and their tech and science and maths and engineer friends and patrons aren't lost either, although many are hungry, for art every day.

I guess we can be happy that she isn't the US Secretary of Education.  I hope someone fires her.


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