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I encounter these same attitudes and as a journal (written) assignment, ask
my high school students to reflect on and begin to deal with the concept of
their "inner critic"-or however you care to label it....I point out that the
voice of self-doubt creeps into many situations....art, sports, dance,
speaking, and so on,(often when we are risk-taking, or trying to extend
ourselves in some individual manner). I give personal examples...and then
ask them to write about what kinds of things their critic says to them...and
perhaps draw the critic (reminding them that any drawing they make will, of
course be acceptable). The response is incredible in my own little corner of
the world-course, I think no one must ever talk to them about this kind of
stuff! When in class, negative self talk pops up, I then say "wow! listen to
THAT critc!" but, even better is when they say it themselves!!! and they do!
I believe these folks esp. need to be aware of the critic and how they may
provide a seed for a negative arts experience someday, just as someone may
have planted that seed in them...
I think that this experience of course varies for everyone-there are
students who have rather than a critic, what we start to label as an
evaluator-this one encourages high standards and does not interfer with the
process of sharing oneself through personal efforts-this one I discovered
from my students! And then there is the individual with no critic in art-but
usually existing in another corner of their life....these are students who
can be very stubborn about their work and defend all decisions, stop short
with the stuff they should refine, etc.
To wrap up, one of the things I ask my students to do, is, as they come
through the door, turn the volume way down on the critic for just my class,
just this semester, and replace negative thoughts with positive statements
such as I am doing my best. It has made a big difference in many situations-
I am sure.
This string of thoughts was influenced by the book The Artist's Way by Julia
As for the production, have you required any writing to go with the work,
maybe if part of it was a description and interpretation, or a rubric as
well as a defense of their own grade....
Good luck on this very important issue!