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Art education in Japan: a textbook-based curriculum.

Spe-cial (spesh el) adj. 1. Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional. 2. Distinct among others of a kind.

This dictionary definition sets the tone for the May issue of SchoolArts as we present a selection of articles about notable art teachers, art programs and arts schools. And special doesn't necessarily mean extra funding or special facilities. To nay way of thinking, the term describes individual initiative and a concern for teaching art to students--child or adult--in the most compelling and challenging way possible. Often this means extra effort and time. Occasionally it means working through a difficult situation for minimal reward and acknowledgement. But my experience has been that the returns--even if only in self-fulfilment, inner pride and student response-far exceed the professional time and teaching effort invested.

Since the May issue completes nay first full year as editor, I'd also like to extend the theme to include the 150 plus art teachers/authors who have shared their ideas and photographs on our pages during the 1989-90 publication and academic year. I also would like to express appreciation to those authors with accepted manuscripts resting in our files until the right balance of theme, activity and level makes possible their publication.

Other people are special, too. The staff at our Worcester, Massachusetts office where the editorial content of the magazine receives final shaping and design layout, our advertisers who have made possible the continuing publication of SchoolArts since 1901, and my Advisory Board and Contributing Editors who keep me on course with valued criticism and counsel. Most important of all, of course, is the SchoolArts family of subscribers and readers ... talk about SPECIAL! We know that it isn't every teacher who takes the time to keep abreast of the field and continually seeks ways to improve and extend the way art is taught to students; but we take pride in the growing number of those who do.

Etcetera

One of our expectations for the May issue was to present results and commentary on the survey of art teachers' viewpoints carried in our January issue. The overwhelming number of responses, and our plan to provide an in-depth analysis of the findings, have convinced us that it is wiser to allow adequate time for careful collating and commentary. Look for a detailed report on this important service to art education in the September issue of SchoolArts.

We get letters!

Fortunately, most of the letters we receive are supportive, and even enthusiastic, about the ideas, information and activities presented in SchoolArts. Occasionally we receive letters of concern or viewpoints that differ from those expressed in an article or editorial. Since your ideas are important to us, we hope to include some of those letters in next year's issues. Another new feature under consideration is Ask SchoolArts. If you have questions about any aspect of art, art education or education, we invite your inquiry and will attempt to provide an answer.

As the school year draws to a close ... think about your most successful projects, your most valued ideas, and share them with us. Some of the themes under consideration for next year include: drawing, design and composition, talk about art, aesthetics in the classroom, art careers, gifted and talented, cultures, sculpture, museum programs and architecture. Of course, we also include several non-theme articles in every issue in an attempt to meet the widest possible range of reader interest, so please take some time this summer to write an article or two describing that special idea or activity. Cartoons about art or art teaching by you or your students are also welcome. If you'd like some suggestions about writing style, drop me a note requesting our new writer's guidelines. Send your articles or requests ... or questions or comments ... to: Kent Anderson, Editor, SchoolArts, 11298 Bridget Lane, Hales Corners, WI 53130.

Have a special summer!
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Title Annotation:Focus: Curriculum Profile
Author:Foster, Mary Sue
Publication:School Arts
Date:May 1, 1990
Words:641
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