There has been a lot of excitement and curiosity around changing the way educators deliver content, expectation, rigor, play, and standards. I have read and watched several researchers who have made this a focus for the new paradigm shift in education. Books- Blended Learning and #EDJourney
I have been reading and researching the changes and dissecting my own philosophy for handling my specific population in my school. I have reflected on how I was trained as an art educator (DBAE), how I function as an artist, and what I recall as memorable experiences in my schooling that helps me relate to my current students.
A lot has changed for teenagers and even more has changed with technology so with that as a known, of course, education needs to change. I am not afraid to modify and change to meet a greater outcome for my students. I have always been a student-centered teacher. I am proud of the rapport I have with my students and they always expand my understanding and help guide me with what was successful and what wasn’t.
I have been active on the art teachers Facebook platforms and on Twitter so I keep up with the trends, thoughts, and questions about what is going on with art education. It’s actually really interesting to see what others share. I love seeing the successes and fails, the open discussions about ideas, and the variety of viewpoints about how art education is changing.
I started this year as a full choice art studio but as I am still learning the differences between Choice and TAB, I am discovering I am falling more into the TAB philosophy. Bare in mind I don’t care for labels, I care about good education.
Last year I wrote a new curriculum to start this school year. I used to teach Drawing I, Drawing II, Painting I, Painting II, Printmaking, Media Art, Sculpture, and AP Art. I have all semester courses on a block schedule with a 70-minute period. That worked for sometime but I started to have student requests for second level experiences in courses that only offered one level. I could not support any more classes. So what happened next was the students were enveloped into other courses and I offered work for those individuals on the side to expand and challenge them. It worked for a short time but it’s not an ideal system.
New School Year New Program- Offerings this year:
DRAWING, PAINTING, PRINTMAKING, MIXED MEDIA, SCULTURE, AP ART
In each course students are classified and placed in beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. The student’s transcript indicates the level the students are in for each of the courses. The student’s can take only three semesters of an individual course. After that the student will enroll in a different course or AP ART.
That is a lot of levels in each course and hard to track so this is where student management platforms come in to the studio. As a school we are using Haiku for all of our classes. I use Haiku as my resource page for all of the forms I need for my students to access. For example: Themes, Artistic Targets, Project Proposal Form, Assessment Forms, and Display Proposals. (formative and summative assessments)
Haiku Learning Management Platform Tutorial
I use Pinterest to create boards for my students to review for ideas and inspiration; I also offer links to tutorials, artists’ websites, and past student examples. I divide the resources into Media and Themes.
My Project Proposal Form is a Google form so I get a spreadsheet to help me track the student’s choices and artistic targets.
One of the issues I read about that some teachers are having difficulty with is the accountability for the students and the project progress. I have a different student centered platform for my students to use as an art journal/sketchbook.
It’s Blendspace. My students create an account and have control of the privacy of each lesson they create. I require my students to keep the information limited to only people who have the code to each lesson to see the link. I also have the students set the usage of the content to no one. I am teaching them early to protect their artwork and digital footprint. The students copy the code to the lesson link on Blendspace to the Google form on the Haiku page to submit with the project proposal.
I get a spreadsheet that indicates details about the artist proposal including the code that relates to the artists lesson. I can see it but no one else can, unless the student shares the link code with peers.
I require my students to attach inspirations to the Blendspace link that can include sketches, YouTube tutorials, art websites, music, etc. I get a full idea of what makes this specific project idea come alive for my student. I also require that my students document the progress of the piece throughout the process. I am putting an emphasis on the experimenting, planning, research, and play to complete the final piece.
I do assessments on the stages of the project and conference with my students on progress, offer support, scaffolding for skill building, etc. The student proposes a deadline and we will refer to that art proposal frequently to keep the student propelling forward. I do leave room for restarting, absences, slower paced workers, and over-achievers. Everyone is working at his or her own pace with accountability.
My observations so far this year: (two weeks into the year)
The students are making very good choices on themes and artistic targets that are achievable but challenging. The amount of out of studio class time has increased due to intrinsic motivation. The quality of the art research and output is very strong.
My fears of students not working have evaporated. My students are working in the morning before school, lunch, club time, study hall, and after school. They are looking at art, finding interesting news and links to support their concepts. It is refreshing to witness and see the documentation of the student “voices” that are emerging.
Very powerful concepts with topics that is important for the artist to express in their own way.
My next goal is to create a augmented Art Gallery display in our school utilizing some of the documentation my students have accumulated on the Blendspace link to showcase the process and thoughtful research. Aurasma is the platform I recently have been trying and it is pretty easy to create.
Aurasma Tutorial – Augmented Reality
Without the element of uncertainty—the bringing off of even—the greatest triumph would be dull, routine, and eminently unsatisfying. – J. Paul Getty
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. – Vincent van Gogh