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using student examples


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Dec 08 2002 - 10:39:19 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>From: "carolyn roberts" <>
> Not only do I use art reproductions as examples in presenting a lesson...but
> our local university encourages and requests that student teachers create
> three different examples of the lessons they are presenting...and also
> discuss other ways that the students could possibly do the work.
> You have to remember that not all students are "innovators" and probably
> more are "ecclectic", borrowing ideas from others...and this is not bad.
> Many of the students are "visual" and must see something before they
> understand the full meaning of what is expected. I show the examples and
> encourage my students to be very creative and come up with ideas of their
> own...possibly building on the ones that I have shown.
> This is also a way that many great artists have worked in the past.
> Do not be afraid to show other students work.
> I use my own examples, plus examples from previous classes or previous
> years.> Carolyn

That was wonderfully said and I couldn't agree more. I use previous student
artwork as examples many times...both good AND bad (why wasn't it
successful?). want your students to be "creative" but it's
difficult to be creative when you have no clue of the direction of your
goal. Creativity is built on the learning experiences of the's
"doing something differently than what's come before".

As for copying former student work put up as'd think that it
would be the case but surprisingly I haven't had others copy former work at
ALL in my classroom. I really wouldn't mind that much either as long as they
wanted to use the "idea" differently. Maybe it's my middle-schooler age
group...maybe they think it's not kosher...I haven't a clue BUT in my
classroom they don't copy. They don't even WANT to copy. They WANT to do it

I also think personal examples (mine or students') gives incentive (hey...if
she thinks it's worth doing, so do I) mentality/respect AND increases the
bar for process and product.

Sooooooooo...because of all this, I can't understand why someone would say
they never use former student artwork as examples. If I had an art teacher,
I certainly wouldn't want to be shown a piece of paper and a paintbrush and
asked to paint a tree WITHOUT first seeing examples of trees, what other
artists have done with trees, study a tree, etc. and then I have all my
newly acquired experiences about trees so I can begin. My incentive would be
to paint a tree completely different than anyone ELSE had done (and how
would I do that if I hadn't seen others' trees). Bingo. Carolyn said...don't be afraid to show other students' works.