St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Teachers take a new angle on art history, architecture

Published February 28, 2007


Tommy Cooper pointed to two ceramic shaman sculptures in the pre-Columbian gallery of the Museum of Fine Arts and posed a question to his mentors.

"Since this guy looks more plain, and this guy is more decorative, could they be of different statures?" asked Cooper, 14, an eighth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School.

Osceola Fundamental High School seniors Marissa Rodriguez and Katherine Goulart, both 17, stepped up to the glass in the dimly lit room to take a better look.

Good observation, said Goulart. The idea shows that the significance of art is often "sociological, historical and political," Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez and Goulart were paired with Cooper and his fellow eighth-grader Jeffrey Hobby on a field trip last Thursday.

Osceola teacher John Stewart brought his advanced placement art history class to act as mentors to Thurgood Marshall gifted students who are taught by his wife, Sheila Stewart.

On their daylong field trip, the students also went to the Salvador Dali Museum, checked out stained glass windows at First United Methodist Church and looked at examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture at the Tramor cafeteria and the old YMCA building.

The trip served several purposes, said John Stewart. The older students were able to examine some of the buildings and artwork that they've studied throughout the year, and teaching the material to the younger students forced them to test their own knowledge.

For some, it was their first visit to the museums. "What I'm trying to do is to broaden their cultural views and horizons," Stewart said.

The middle school kids will use what they learned for an upcoming project where they will create two tombs to symbolize two cultures through the use of artifacts and iconography, Sheila Stewart said.

"Then they'll try to figure out what the culture is about, and they'll do it using certain elements like religious beliefs, art and aesthetic values.

They did projects before on some of the major religions of the world, but seeing it up close, it brings it home for them."

For the younger students, the trip also was a good way to learn about the county's only high school fundamental program.

[Last modified February 28, 2007, 01:54:19]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters