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Q&A: Longtime art teacher introduces different cultures

April 16, 2012
The Marietta Times

Carol Garoza has taught art in Marietta City Schools for 25 years, working for three years before that in New York and Florida.

Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a curator and has continued to do some curatorial jobs for Marietta College.

At the end of the current school year, Garoza will retire, but that won't mean she'll be done teaching.

Q: What are the biggest differences between school art programs now and when you started teaching?

A: When I started teaching, it was more specific to the elements and principles of art. And now the focus is more global. Not that we're not teaching the elements and the principles, but we're teaching them in a more cultural manner, including the study of art and artists in the United States and around the world. And also teaching the critiquing of art and how art affects the community.

Q: How have you had to adjust your teaching over the years to accommodate these changes?

A: Oh, more research and more study of different cultures to bring them in. You're constantly educating yourself so you can educate someone else. ... The marvelous thing is the rotation system that we have here in Marietta, which is unusual for our whole state. When I first started teaching, I'd see the kids once a week. And then when I moved to Marietta, we experimented with some programs and we see them for two weeks every month. And so we teach units and you can go truly in depth. ... We produce art; we don't produce things that you just put on the fridge.

And I also think the realization nationally that the arts, art and music, absolutely enriches the students and helps them enrich their grades. It's an integral part of learning. And the new core curriculum the state's putting in proves the integration of the arts as an important factor in the curriculum.

Q: Why is it important to teach art in schools?

A: It fully rounds out the child and exposes them to a different perspective of looking at things. It encourages brainstorming and gestation and the total creative process. By doing that, it's proven to improve grades and outcomes on state exams and national exams.

Evan Bevins conducted the interview.



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