I teach Middle School Art. I too remember those sometimes horrible critiques from college! What I recently started doing is to stop the kids when they are about half way through the project. I then have about 5 of them stand up at the same time and have the rest of the class point out one positive thing about the art work and one thing that the student could do better and give suggestions as to how they can accomplish that. The rule is that they are not allowed to simply say "I like it" or "it's good", they must point out what it is specifically that the student has done well or could do better. I remind the kids that we do this not to tear each other down, but to help eachother better our work, just as any community of artists would. It has turned out to be a positive experience for the kids and I plan on doing it with more projects.
Northport Middle School
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