Sunday, December 9, 2012

Choice Based Art Education


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Choice-Based Art Education

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach a choice-based art class.  In the choice-based art room children are able to develop their own artistry through authentic, meaningful, self-directed art experiences. Rather than having all students do one teacher designed project, students are free to explore their own creativity to design their own project.

I was very inspired after reading Engaging Learners Through Artmaking , by Katherine M. Douglas and Diane B. Jaquith. I proposed teaching an after-school class following this pedagogy. On the first day of class, I had carefully planned art-making centers available for the students so they could make  independent choices.  It was so exciting to see what could happen in a short amount of time!

In this first session I gave the mixed-age class a tour of the centers.  These centers include drawing, painting, collage, construction, printmaking and a library.  I made a binder for each center that includes a list of all materials, examples of art techniques and reproductions of famous artworks exemplifying those styles.

Next, I spent five minutes discussing a specific art idea.  We talked about chairs and how they are represented in art.  We talked about furniture designers, painters, and how an object can tell a story about it's owner.  We also discussed scale and drawing and constructing a three-dimensional object. Then the kids went to the centers.  A few explored what I called "the idea of the day", but most spent their time investigating the materials and their properties.  The slideshow represents what occurred in a forty-five minute class.

To learn more about choice-based art education, please visit:
Teaching for Artistic Behavior


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