Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Find Lesson Plans on! GettyGames

Re: See Kathy Douglas' TAB- Choice Art Exhibit


Date: Mon Mar 15 2004 - 15:39:26 PST

In a message dated 3/15/04 8:38:03 AM, writes:

> Thanks for the explanation, Kathy.  What you are doing sounds very
> interesting.  Do you push children at all when they are working?  I
> mean,  have them brainstorm more for further ideas, ask them if they can
> think of something large to add to their foreground, give coloring tips,
> etc.?
> Linda Woods

Good question: yes! Choice teachers are very active in class. As in any
good art class most of the real teaching happens nearly one-on-one as we interact
with students to assist them in starting, moving work along, brainstorming
strategies for problems encountered. As each art work has the potential to be
something which no one has ever made before there is a lot of conversation
about these matters. I am often asked for advice which I can't give and love
nothing better than finding the solution from another student. On the John Crowe writes about how much he enjoyed interacting with
individual students when he switched to choice. There are often classes where
everybody is doing fine; I have the opportunity to make art at one of the
tables, work with a particularly needy child, converse at length when that is
needed,or, importantly, to observe and make notes about my observations. I
intervene when students do not seem engaged in their "choice" and am happy to choose
for them if I observe the need. (That new thing is always there and the
students are reminded that there is no "do nothing" center in the room.) I will
comment on work frequently. Usually I try to practice what Peter London and
others have recommended: to comment on what I notice in the work. That
noticing and subsequent conversation can lead to further work on the part of the
student. I am quick to pull out master artist references when student work is
connected. (a very small girl whose mother worked in a bakery always drew
muffins, cookies, etc. Needless to say, she devoured all my Wayne Thibault
reproductions. Her work looked nothing like his, but she was tickled that his
ideas and hers intersected and that I took her preferences seriously) Many
children, like many practicing adult artists, know when they are done. And
learning to know when a piece is finished is a really important part of being an
artist. I do not always agree with my students on that point, but they have the
final say. There are certain general requirements: found object sculptures
do not go out the door if they are wobbly and falling apart. If the student
makes a puppet he or she must be prepared to tell me all about the puppet's
likes, dislikes, living situation, etc. as adult puppet artists tend to be very
involved in the personalities of their puppets. And so on. Choice teachers
can place restrictions like that as they feel the need and as their students
and teaching situation demand. Notice that I tend to run on and on. sorry
that this is so long. It means a lot to me when someone goes to the trouble
of asking good questions. I really enjoy the give and take available online
 kathy douglas -