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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: June 27, 2009


From: Lois Girbino (lgirbino_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 07:01:25 PDT

RE: teaching idea development

Hi Diane-
  I think deciding between DBAE, Idea Development, Design, or
Technique is a losing proposition; combining various aspects of each
works for me. I also believe being age-appropriate is crucial, and
working within your time constructs is also a factor. I teach upper
elementary art, so students come once a week for 45 minutes. They want
to DIVE-IN and make something! So, although I try to focus on creative
problem-solving, we frame the projects around an essential question,
like "How do artists use color to portray feeling?", or an essential
concept, "Craftsmanship". Within the media we are using, some projects
have media choices (e.g. drawing with pencil, or colored pencil, or
pastel, or markers), others do not (e.g.sculpture with clay, with
armature). I also spend time on technique, whole-group and 1:1, so
students do learn how to shade, or cross-hatch, or use an ink pen with
proficiency (using the drawing project as an example). I would have to
say my preference is to "spiral" technique development across media
and grade levels. Some students really"get" blind contour drawing in
third grade, others "get" it in fourth, for instance.
  Also, I try to give choices, like in perspective: do your name or a
street scene in one or two point perspective. In a math integration
unit, students could do fractals, tessellations, or a deeper
perspective investigation. I always offer students the chance to come
up with their own art project as a replacement, and have yet to be
taken up on that offer.
 And yes, the more choice and student-centered options you give, the
more excited most students are about the project. Some students need
to be nudged past their comfort zone, though, and that is where
breakthroughs happen. For instance, every year, the truly gifted
drawing students rebel against sculpture projects,because spatial
thinking is harder for them, but eventually come to love it because
they learn to embrace different media. Conversely, some students
insist they "can't draw", which prompts me to ask if they gave up on
"learning how to read or how to multiply?". It is a wonderful
opportunity for growth when we push ourselves (teacher & student).


Life is short, art is long...-Hippocrates
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