Black Mountain College Project
   

STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS
(1933-43)

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Personalities of Faculty

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE SUNLEY PROJECT AND DOCUMENTS

Description of the Study by Robert Sunley
*   Letter to the Students
*   Guidelines
*   Brief Biographies of
    Contributors

*   Brief Biographies of
    Faculty Mentioned in
    the Memoirs
*

SECTION 1. ROLE OF THE ARTS

    Statement by Robert
    Sunley


The artistic process as
    a major goal.


*   Individual, active
    anticipation was
    fostered but not
    required.

*   Focus on really “seeing”
    and “thinking” for
    oneself, not on the
    production of art.


Self-direction, self-
    discipline, initiative,
    development of the
    whole person....

The arts were diffused
    throughout the
    education ....    

 

   
PERSONALITIES OF FACULTY

The personality of the teacher often made as great an impact on a student as did the teacher's methods and knowledge. Because of the close quarters of faculty and students in the same building and eating meals together, there was little premium for a teacher to put on a "performance" in the classroom. Students saw the teacher in and out of class, in good or bad humor, easy or difficult to approach at any time. Informal conversations with faculty gave students further perspective on each teacher – usually this close-up acquaintance was on the positive side. Students perhaps would agree with the one who wrote, "he had many faults, but...."

The close living and study arrangements also allowed students to view one or more of the faculty as mentors, guides, helpful adults. For some students, as the excerpts show, this experience was a crucial one in their later lives. Also, the essays by former students bear little trace of strong adverse reactions to the problematic behavior that occurred among certain faculty members. While some students were, in fact, unaware of much that transpired among the faculty, others did know quite a lot, gossiped about it, but in the end had little stake in that aspect of BMC life.

Robert Sunley

SECTION 2. TEACHERS AND TEACHING

Introduction

Formal Aspects of the
Curriculum 

   Class Size 
   Grades    
   Advisors 
   Junior Division  
   Senior Division  
   Graduation

Methods of Teaching
   General

   John Andrew Rice 
   Josef Albers 
   Erwin Straus 
   Robert Wunsch 
   Others


Personalities of Faculty
  
John Rice  
   Josef Albers 
   Robert
Wunsch 
   Heinrich
Jalowetz  
   Others 

Outside the Classroom
   In General  
   The Work Program 
   Visitors -
   Trips 
   Drama 
   Interlude  
   Lectures, Concerts 
   Informal Interchange