We’re not asking whether art classes are worth it — that’s not the question. The question is, “Is their cost worth the benefit we receive today?” If they’ve done a useful teaching job and are paying enough to make their student’s life easier, and the class meets the needs of other students, do it. If not, don’t bother.
Art classes are not just for art teachers. A lot of other professions need them, too: law, medicine, teaching, and science (including the humanities). We’re not asking whether they’re art classes. The question is, “Is their cost worth the benefit we receive today?”
We aren’t asking for students to “pay up” for a class. In fact, we’re not asking that at all. Rather, we’re asking that they pay up for their participation. It takes a significant investment of time and talent to provide an education on and off the job. We want teachers who are doing a good, worthy job, and who expect their students to show up for their classes.
In the case above, it would be a lot less costly for the teacher to pay the entire class price — or a small fraction of it — if she’s not making the entire class price. She’d just have to pay a portion of the class price in order to cover administrative costs and the costs of travel and meals (for which our money goes a long way), which is much less than the money she’d have to pay for an unlimited subscription to the class. After all of this, she might still want to give it a shot, but we would be more likely to give it a pass. Of course, if there is nothing more effective to teach in a class than an art class, why would she bother going?
And if the teacher has students who need the class, but are reluctant to attend, or are unsure if they can afford a subscription, she’ll probably need to find ways to make sure the teacher’s class has a place in their lives — either by providing a similar class or by connecting with other students who need a similar thing. For many of these students, the cost of art classes is a major reason that they can’t afford the full cost to attend said classes. The student might be reluctant (and therefore unwilling or unable to attend) to pay for the class, and in that case, the teacher would owe it to the student to find a way to compensate them enough to make the class worth the effort.
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