>So I'm having a really big problem with a boy in my 6th grade class
>who refuses to think for himself. He will not come up with original
>ideas for his work, and always tries to copy my example. I've started
>just giving instruction on media and not giving an example for each
>project, and he just copies his neighbor.
>Other than just giving him a bad grade, do you have any ideas for ways
>to encourage him to at least TRY to come up with his own ideas? (It's
>kind of ironic that I'm asking for ideas to help a kid come up with
>ideas, right?) I've tried everything I know to do -- even put him in
>his own seat far away from everyone else so he can't steal ideas, and
>still, he'll just sit there and refuse to do the work.
This boy has an overactive set of mirror neurons. He is driven to imitate. His imagination neurons are rapidly getting smaller from disuse. Brain scientists have recently discovered what we art teachers knew all along. We art teachers call it the Monkey See/Monkey Do mentality. Google mirror neurons to learn more. It is a common genetic condition that afflicts us all.
Kids love to copy, it is a human trait, but it is not art, and it does not require an art teacher to teach it. WE want to educate the IMAGINATION NEURONS (not yet isolated by science--but they are in there someplace). To this end, I just posted a somewhat revolutionary proposal.
Let me know what you think? Share your similar ideas with the list.
Dr. Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art Emeritus
Goshen College, 1700 South Main, Goshen IN 46526
studio phone: 574-533-0171??
"You can't never know how to do it before you never did it before." ... a kindergarten boy working with clay for the first time.