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Re: [teacherartexchange] What is TAB?


Date: Tue Jun 13 2006 - 18:22:33 PDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Diane C. Gregory Subject: [teacherartexchange] What is TAB?

   Please give a brief explanation of TAB.>

Hi Diane! We have written back and forth before. Your question is
welcome. In educational movements, finding a good descriptive name is
one of the challenges. We feel that we are a movement, and one that
differs from many others in that we began not in higher education
research, but in individual classrooms nearly thirty years ago. The
Internet has allowed us to connect with other interested teachers.
Diane Jaquith, of Newton, Massachusetts, addressed the name confusion
in a short essay that she published in 2005. I will repreduce it here
as she says it better than I do...

We recognize that there are many varied ways of offering choice in art
education, and that many art educators do so in varying degrees
depending upon their particular art programs and district requirements.
[our] listserv supports teachers who are developing, have developed or
plan to develop an art program with the purpose of providing students
maximum choices in their art making experiences in the classroom.
We’ve noticed that the terms “Choice-based,” “Teaching for Artistic
Behavior,” “TAB,” and “Centers approach” are often interchanged. In
response to a request for clarification of the terms, here are some
definitions that we use in our teaching.

CHOICE-BASED ART EDUCATION regards students as artists and offers them
real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through
the making of art. This concept supports multiple modes of learning and
teaching for the diverse needs of students. In the learning
environment, resources and opportunities to construct knowledge and
meaning in the process of making art are provided. Choice-Based Art
Education utilizes multiple forms of assessment to support student and
teacher growth.

If you offer your students full choice most of the time, then you are a
choice-based art educator.

brings together choice-based art programs from around the United
States. The concept emerged over 30 years ago in Massachusetts
classrooms through the need for more authentic art making experiences.
United through Massachusetts College of Art (MCA), teachers working in
isolation discovered others who also held belief in the child as the
artist. With the support of MCA, NAEA and The Education Alliance at
Brown University, the Teaching for Artistic Behavior Partnership (TAB)
was formed in 2001. Since then, TAB has become a visible presence
online, at NAEA conferences, and at regional gatherings.

All choice-based art educators are welcome as members of the Teaching
for Artistic Behavior Partnership. As a member of TAB, you are likely a
choice-based art educator, or friend of choice-based art education.

A CENTERS APPROACH reflects the learning environment, with different
learning centers set up in the classroom. Commonly seen in primary
classrooms, centers offer students a focused learning experience. Most
choice-based art programs offer separate media centers, such as
painting, clay, printmaking, etc. These centers function as mini art
studios, complete with instructional information printed on menus,
resources, materials and tools. Students move independently between
centers, utilizing materials, tools and resources as needed in their
art making.

Centers refer to the learning environment, and are not a methodology.
You cannot be a “centers-based” educator, but you can be a choice-based
educator who provides centers in your classroom. >> copyright Diane
Jaquith, 2005.

We are struggling through the final rewrites of a textbook covering
this approach. We will happily publish information on it here when it
is complete; in the meantime, please visit the dept. of education
funded and our listserv at

We would love comments and questions!
kathy douglas
in massachusetts, packing up her room now that the art show is done!

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