Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans

Curriculum Issues

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 04 Apr 1997 09:50:46 -0700

Hi from Mary and Linda in Arizona,

As we read through the inquiry based questions for this weeks seminar, we were
struck by a possible paradox in the inquiry method...on one side it seems to
be a wonderful process for engaging students in meaningful thinking about art,
while on the other side, the potential for this to become the primary focus
and bleed the soul out of art is also a scary possibiltity.

In our experience with elementary students and classroom teachers, the
initial experience of a hands-on activity is what creates the excitement and
the heightened awareness that allows them to indentify with artists across
time. It is the intense personal involvement with the problem solving process
while creating art that internalizes for them the power of art, personally and
historically. At this point, questions that they personally wrestled with
during the production can be generalized to artists across time, and their
buy-in and excitement in exploring answers to those questions is more vital.
It is here that an experienced teacher can also introduce
additional questions to carry them to new areas they may not have considered.

Students, of any age, whose clearest memory of a personal art experience is
that of a teacher somewhere who told them their drawing was "wrong" or
chastized them for not "following directions", are not generally able to become
engaged in discussing issues that are, for obvious reaasons, in no way related
to them. That positive, personal breakthrough with art seems to be a primary
necessity. THEN the soul of art is held on to, the magic is in place and the
relevance of "What did the artwork mean when it was new?" and "How did the
maker organize the elements?" has meaning to the student.

That unique human ability of metacognition (thinking about thinking) should be
an intregral part of inquiry learning. We need to encourage the student to
question what they are thinking about art, their own and that of other art
makers, cultures, and periods of time. Dr. Erickson's research and the
resulting stategies for inquiry learning, invites us to think about our own
thinking, hopefully we will do the same for our students.

We really enjoyed reading the contributions by Glen Williams and Karen Palcho!

Be back later!


Linda Sleight and Mary Jordan


Tempe School District #3
"Putting Kids First"