Don’t Kill the Ideas!Posted: December 8, 2014
This TED talk by Cindy Foley has pushed my thinking this weekend and fueled my passion to continue practicing Teaching Artistic Behavior.
In my effort to design a studio and create a curriculum for students to explore ideas and make progress in the visual arts, I am still editing my work and constantly observing. The experience feels as raw as singing a solo or driving an 18 wheeler sometimes, but witnessing my students thrive in this environment tells me to keep going.
These two without direction arrived to the art studio with a plan to work collaboratively in paint! That is the best part and in addition to their great plan they naturally designed a composition of symmetry, radial design brought out by mixed colors. If I had assigned this to the class, I’m not sure if all would be engaged in this artwork that was a choice for these two. The colorful Jon Baldessari dots are covering their beaming smiles. This successful experience will nourish the next stage.
As for lesson planning, I do similar “Daily Demos” like Anne Bedrick in her ibook Choice without Chaos. For assessment, student-assessment and grading,(I have simplified the NAEA standards into a grade-level portfolio checklists). The students in photo have accomplished this on their own and can now check this off in their portfolio. I am excited to ask them if they were aware it is a 4th grade level portfolio checklist item. I see this collaborative and independent work often and in other centers. There are students that need motivation and direction and there are administrators that need evidence that this method is working. I merge these needs by keeping notes and modifying my demos into objectives that are current for the student. If I see a student struggling with attachment, my objective is to demonstrate possibilities and take time to explore trial and error.
Cindy Foley uses the horse drawing and stick figure along with the classic comments of “your so creative and I can not even draw a stick figure.” Practicing a choice-based studio does change the way our displays work so I started these growing documentation boards inspired by Studio Habits of Mind. Parents, teachers and students will see that we are playing, thinking, experimenting with materials. Our students are forming their creative habits and listening to the voice behind them.