Our students are suffering from a "curiosity crisis" and art educators need to draw the line against demanding standardized results from our students just to satisfy not-applicable (or worse, arbitrary) requirements from folks that understand very little about arts education.
Along the same vein, this compelling TedX talk by Cindy Foley ignited a thought provoking discussion among many of my online art educator colleagues with one overarching question: What do we do about it? The talk has spawned many blog posts (like this one) and Melissa Purtee does the best job of answering that question in Thoughts on Arting:
We have to give our kids "the capacity to think creatively", which means putting away any lesson plan with a pre- determined product and instead focusing on challenges with some ambiguity where students have to plan and follow their own path. When our projects connect with other subjects it should be natural and organic, not forced, and stem from student's specific and individual. interests.
I embrace removing from my teaching repertoire the directive "here's what we're going to make today." I strive to ask the question "What do you want to say?" as much as possible. Here are some pictures of what that kind of engagement looks like: