I've read articles from your website previously and recently reread excerpts from your Creativity Killers page. While reading the information I kept thinking about an experience I had in the classroom similar to one of the approaches you describe where the teacher does not demonstrate or show examples to students but rather familiarizes them with materials and techinques (I used the process to teach glass fusing to 4th graders).
I showed students how to cut, layer, and stack glass. Then they practiced the process with scrap window glass. I then gave them colored glass to make fused glass pendants.
Before they began we discussed skills they learned previously about combining colors for various reasons and affects.
The outcome of the project was a much more engaging and autonomous experience for students. Out of the approximately 300 pendants made by 70 students, no two were alike; they were very much driven by student's own contemplation and sense of design.
The only stipulation I put upon students was they had to make multiple pendants modifying a previous design or coming up with something new for each pendant. These are a few examples of the student's work.
Thank you for sharing your ideas about art education on the web. They reaffirm what I have observed occurs naturally for students when they understand how to think and act creatively.