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studio classes question -reply -

updated mon 31 mar 97


"Rafael Molina-Rodriguez (Rafael Molina-Rodriguez)" on thu 20 mar 97

Linda :

I agree that students have specific objectives in mind when they enroll in
classes. Some may want to make a few objects in a less intensive
setting. Other students may choose a more "complete course in

There are some who enjoy a community college setting. Still, there
others who aren't comfortable in an academic environment and seek a
less formal atmosphere. Private studios, art/craft centers, community
colleges, and universities each have something to offer.

In my experience, it has been difficult to motivate every single student
enrolled in my class. In some cases students are alienated by my
teaching methods and strategies. On the other hand I've had students
enroll in my class for years. I think it's an unrealistic expectation to have
100% success in reaching students. I still try to reach all of my students
and when I don't it concerns me. I wonder how I might alter my teaching
style to motivate those students who don't respond.

Perhaps, it's these students and others who seek out alternative
situations such as the classes you and Martin offer. As you stated "No
one situation can possibly be the right one for everyone."


>>> LINDA BLOSSOM 03/19/97 06:50am >>>
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Dear Raphael,

All of what you say is true if you are speaking of a university program.
In that program, there should be a great variety of facilities and areas to
learn from as well as someone qualified with an extensive background.
However, for a local studio where a few people want to make something
use or for their home, this isn't necessary. I have people come who
to make a fireplace hearth, mirror surround, or tiles and it just isn't
necessary that I have everything a school might have. Your goals and
requirements are different. But that doesn't make you or any of your
friends better teachers. I just happened to have been a teacher in the
public school system, but I have learned from people that didn't have any
formal teaching credentials. Your prices are good - but then you receive
money from the state. You just have to consider the situation and the
goals. You are in competition with other schools to keep up. That
require me to do the same. Based on a student's needs, your program
be better but not necessarily. All the credentials and facilities won't
help someone who isn't near a school or needs something else. If
wants to make tiles, then the requirement to learn to throw wouldn't be of
much help. Not everyone wants a complete course in ceramics. I don't
attempt to give the participants a deep understanding of clay and glaze -
they just want to start with clay and end with a project for their home. I
have to have the knowledge so that I can guide them - giving them the
information they need to produce a successful piece they can use. I
taught with a lot of qualified teachers - but the credentials lost their
meaning for me. A qualified teacher could screech and insult children as
well as an unqualified one. No one situation can possibly be the right
for everyone.

Linda Blossom
2366 Slaterville Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850