Art in high school in NZ is silly. Kids should not be made to copy a painting. Sure its great to analye a piece and even copy to learn techniques and styles. What they need is fundimental drawing and painting techniques - and to be left alone to explore.
From a early age they should be given a book similar to this and encouraged to draw from the world around them. The will create better people. Today walking the streets od wellington looking for interesting areas to draw. I noticed building that I never had before It really teaches you to observe the world around you. Watching people is important. How do they move? Their mannerisms? I spent tim e in the civic centre watching birds and doing quick sketches. How often do you just site and observe the world?