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[teacherartexchange] project ideas


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_6_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2007 - 13:30:53 PDT

I just finished a grad class called "Discovering the Power of Live-
Event Learning" Basically it is about getting kids to use thinking
processes that carry over into life-long learning and to devise
problem based lessons that cross disciplines , are student centered,
use community resources, and build "real-world" skills.
One day we had to use the newspaper to find something to make into a
live-event. I saw an article that Philadelphia "city officials are
now weighing proposals from three companies to design, install and
maintain - for the next two decades - hundreds of new bus shelters,
newsstands, trash receptacles, public toilets and benches" and I
thought what a great idea for kids to think about. They would not
only have to design, but investigate construction, costs, making
proposals, building models, presenting, etc, etc
(BTW, I found a dozen things in the Sunday NY Times to turn into

Today I saw this
International Artists & Architects Competitions to 'Re-imagine the
Beach Hut for the 21st Century'
This gallery shows the winners of the international competitions for
new coastal architecture.

I'm just thinking there are so many neat ways to make art relevant
and life long for kids. We don't have to rehash the same old artists
all the time. We have the beauty of coming up with projects that
teach thinking skills across the board of disciplines. Most of us
teach kids who will never become artists and probably not even
hobbyists. How do we engage them to believe they can be part of a
process that makes design and aesthetic decisions? I can imagine
kids coming up with ideas for for bus stations and trash receptacles
that would be specific to neighborhoods.. . and why not encourage
them to go to the city council with their ideas. That's a learning
experience. Sometimes I think I only have to look at what is close
around me, look at what is current and happening, then tie the
historical to it. I sometimes have trouble going the other way.

I've always believed that if you give a big problem to solve you will
get big ideas. I also believe there is always somebody who can tell
you how to make the big idea look better. It's much more important
to be able to get the big idea and THEN learn how to find who can
make it work. If you don't try something new you will never get
anything new.


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