In a message dated 7/1/2005 3:22:04 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> From: Lydia Horvath <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Hello - I am going to have an advanced high school art class for the
> time this coming year (YAY!!), and was interested in maybe doing some
> form of choice-based "thing".. however, most of the info I've found
> online seems to pertain to primary level. Has anyone done anything
> like this at the secondary level? What possibilities/problems does
> this pose?
> Hi Lydia,
I teach a high school Portfolio class which a choice- based curriculum. My
criteria for entering this class is that they have taken 4 semesters of art
(incl. Foundations) and know how to use most all art media, know color theory,
can successfully apply the art elements and design principles to produce quality
art. I act as a facilitator to stimulate them in new ideas and approaches.
Here are some hints! I found that many high schoolers cannot handle TOTAL
choice bec. most will opt to stay in their media comfort level. If it is drawing
and their comfort medium is graphite pencil or pen and ink, they tend to get
"stuck" there bec. they are successful. I have to encourage them to risk and
try new media. When I came to this school, some kids never did watercolor. It
took a lot of encouragement to get them to do it. I gave them a quickie basic
demo. Many were delighted with their results and would have never tried if I
hadn't "required" it.
The first week of school, I give out an assignment list that only lists the
media and the due date for the assignment. They can do it any way they wish. I
just want to know they are proficient.
I originally used the end of the year for due dates and found that the kids
"played" most of the year and were in near panic by April. Now, for instance,
they know they have to do a major watercolor by March 15th. They can do
whatever else they wish at any other time. Naturally we critique the work.
They know I want to see proficiency in painting, drawing media, printmaking,
collage and experimental mixed media, etc. The subject and mode of expression
is their choice. For instance, if they choose to do collage (required) in the
form of an altered book, on canvas with a paint ground or on a 3D sculpture,
it is acceptable. They can choose to incorporate the assignments in applied
arts or a fine art mode.
Don't require too many assignments bec. some will need more time than others.
We look for quality not quantity. The point is that they have to work and not
goof off. They also need time to do "their stuff".
At the end of the year for their "final" grade, they must plan their exhibit
( 8'x 8' space), actually design it with a theme in mind, mat and shrink wrap
the work and write an artist's statement and art resume and hang it. They have
had some fab. exhibits that knocked my socks off!