Teachers As Artists

Artful Resistance: Clyde Gaw to Bill Gates: Just Let Me Teach

Bill Gates Clyde Gaw

Artist and Art Teacher Clyde Gaw and his painting titled “High Stakes Standardized Testing”.

 

Clyde Gaw, Art Teacher and artist created this amazing piece of artful resistance in an effort to inform the public about what is happening to our democracy through corporate education reform. Clyde entered his painting in the Art Education Association of Indiana’s “Teachers as Artists” competition where he won the People’s Choice Award.   Kristy Deer of the Indiana Economist Digest reported the following in a piece called “Art Educator Wears His Passion on His Canvas”:

“The education policy that we should have in place is one that promotes innovation and creative capacities in each and every individual child,” Gaw said. “Innovation is where the U.S. makes its mark. We should not be emulating the education systems of countries whose educational institutions produce thinkers with little capacity for innovation or creativity.”

We  asked Clyde why he included Bill Gates in his painting.  Here is Clyde’s response:

“Gates, having enjoyed a privileged, child centered education where his natural talents and giftedness were refined through democratic, autonomous learning experience, was afforded time, guidance, material and encouragement to develop his ideas relating to computer programming and coding.

He has since become the richest man in the World with the creative thinking skills he developed at Lakeside School but now advocates a different kind of learning experience for other peoples children. The form of education Gates is advocating for is dependent upon compliance, control and authoritarianism where the child is outside the decision making process central to the learning experience he or she must participate in.

Influencing education policy at the state and national level with vast sums of money, Gates has much to gain from educational ancillary spending on technology and numerical data collection, thus has carefully leveraged his influence so that teachers are evaluated based on students psycho-metric test scores.

Teachers have no control over student variables outside the classroom so they are basically micromanaged to teach to the test and deprived of opportunities to utilize democratic forms of educational learning experiences due to the subversion of curriculum from standardized high stakes testing.” ~ Clyde Gaw, July 2, 2014

 

Justin Oakley had Indiana’s own, Clyde Gaw, Artist, Advocate, and a “guy who gives a you know what”  featured on the Just Let Me Teach – Indiana Talks Radio LIVE show.  You can listen to Clyde and Justin on the podcast here.

Clyde blogs at Save Art Education.

What do you think?  Does Bill Gates have the expertise needed to reform public education policies?  Does he have the right to do so simply on the grounds of being the richest man in the world?