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I've been using ArtsEdNet since its beginning- I'm excited to see Dr.
Erickson's "Our Place in the World" online. It ties together what I
do with my 9th grade students in my Art Basics classes. I've been
incorporating DBAE, technology and Minnesota Grad Standards
performance packages into my curriculum since 1994. The
transformation of my visual arts program has resulted in a 75%
increase in students taking my elective art classes- students learn a
process through DBAE and then use technology to conduct inquiry.
I've been using Our Place in the World to show a core group of my
students how inquiry should work. The structure Dr. Erickson has
designed fits an art history inquiry performance package that is being
tested in Minnesota school districts this year. Not all students can
do this work to a high standard...Members of my core group of 10
students are interested enough in inquiry and art history to attempt
the performance package. I am a coach- guiding, but not doing the
work. What I find is that most students do not look very far beneath
the surface-unless I show them how.
Our Place in the World contains a multitude of layers that invite
different levels of involvement. In its entirety, it can be
overwhelming, but, through a quick scan of what's available, we can
pick and choose to meet our own needs. I very much appreciate Dr.
Erickson's thoroughness- if you need ideas, they're available; if you
need focus, it's there; if you need sequence, you'll find it. With the
icons, students immediately know your aims.
To close, I'm finding myself using Dr. Erickson's Our Place in the
World in a variety of my classes- I have 102 students making handmade
paper and then combining that experience with bookmaking. I read the
story of Fee to these students. We discussed the variety of questions
Our Place in the World offered in the Imagination Story Lesson and
students used the experience as a springboard to write and illustrate
their handmade books. I'm having a hard time getting my students to
part with these books- even for display purposes, much less in sharing
their stories. More later...... I hope that many of you will take a
look at this experience. The possibilities are endless......