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Lesson Plans

Re: Teaching Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kathrine L Walker (klwalk)
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 09:25:39 -0600 (CST)

Try connecting the arts to some of the research done on Higher Order
Thinking. I know the Connecticut Commission on the Arts ran a detailed
workshop on this topic during the summer of 1994. You could try
contacting them in Hartford, Connecticut.

There is also some very interesting research being done by Marian
Martinello who is at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She did a
session at the Mountain Plains Museum Association
Meeting in Wyoming in 1995 called " Developing Expert Learners: A
Hypersearch Concept of Inquiry" which tied to all types of museums. The
summary of the program reads "Critical and creative inquiry provides the
means toward life long, self-directed learning....This sessions explores
the meaning of inquiry as a Hypersearch and interdisciplinary nonlinear
and open-ended exploration."

Basically what she said is the reserach shows that most children, and
hence grownups, are only able to deal with fact-seeking inquiry and have
difficulty going beyond. In the study, children were able to fill in the
blanks, ask information-based questions and seek text-based information
to questions. They had difficulty asking larger, open-ended questions,
finding meaningful patterns, and reflecting. Children were upset when
there were no right or wrong answers, etc.

She then took us through a workshop based on work by Vera John-Steiner in
her book "Notebooks of the Mind." The steps were:
1. come at an
object/topic from multiple perspectives/ interdiscplinary connections.
If you apply this to what we do in art you could think about DBAE,
Feldman, Aesthetic Scanning, the wonderful work done by Harvard's Project
Muse - (Entry Point System) But you can also come at a painting from
different disciplines, especially if you get into topic.

2. Next work with Analogy 1. Metaphor and simile 2. Theory As a group
create a series of first metaphors, then make on into a simile (your
language arts teachers will love this) Next take the simile and support
it as a theory

3. Anomoly - compare and contrast aspects of you object/topic
**All of the above exercises are done in small groups

The final result is that this type of inquiry-based learning leads to:
1. Creativity
2. There is no end to learning
3. There are no right or wrong ideas
4. You are pushed to figure out the "Big Idea"
5. There is collaboration in investigation
6. There is a sense of ownership

The gist of all this is, that the development of Higher Order, Creative,
Inquiry-based, whatever you want to call it, thinking is crucial to
developing the thinkers for the future. See Goals 2000 #3 for the mandate.

There is also a good statement on linking the arts to Goals 2000 in the
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts newsletter, Vol 6,
No.3 (Summer 1995). Carol Sterling, Directs of Arts Education, American
Council for the Arts: "Make connections between art learning and student
competencies that involve acts of intelligence, require problem solving,
critical thinking, and teamwork." "Explain hos your program is
developing tomorrow's transmitters and communicators of our cultural

Sorry I took so much space!

Kathrine Walker
Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University

On Tue, 27 Feb 1996
Sombralee wrote:

> Hi! My name is Shelly and I am a post-graduate student at Southwest Texas
> State University.snip
> I recently was asked an interesting question and had a hard time giving an
> answer and I am curious what others in the Art Teaching field think. At the
> time of the question we were discussing the importance of Education and the
> question was asked, "How important is Art Education to a street dealer or a
> out-of-work mother of five?" The person basically was saying that the
> cut-backs that the Arts get are because it is more important that "Jimmy" and
> "Sally" know how to read and forget about if they have any idea or concept of
> Art. I guess my question would be how do we as Art Teachers justify the need
> for Art Education. snip