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[teacherartexchange] TAB Choice - Choice Based Art ED - Centers - Clarification of terms


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2006 - 05:55:01 PST

Dear Art Educators,

I know I have been using TAB Choice to describe Choice Based Art
Education. Here is an essay by Diane Jaquith that clarifies the terms.
TAB Choice (Teaching for Artistic Behaviour Partnership) is a growing
community of Choice Based Art Educators. Kathy Douglas re-posted this
for all new members of TAB Choice list and Dian gave me permission to
re-post it here.

From Diane

an essay by Diane Jaquith. (copyright 2005)

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. This listserv (TAB-ChoiceArtEd Yahoo Group) 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.

organization that 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.

Kathy - if you see this - I have been working my fingers to the bone
(grin). There is another one who wants to give it a try this year... I
am sending her to the TAB list:

To visit your group on the web, go to:

To subscribe from this group, send an email to:

I recommend you do some searches in the list archives - all posts are
open to the public.... Then you sign up and ask any questions you
still have. Stephanie C - I am going to connect you with Becky B who
just started Choice. You two will really hit it off. She has already
discovered answers to some of your questions... and she is doing
Altered Books, too (one of your passions).

Looking forward to seeing more of you merging Choice with DBAE. I just
know there is a way that you will not have to give up all you have
done in the past.... Each teacher has to find their own style that
works for you. Believe me when I say that Choice motivates. I was not
total choice when I taught most recently, but I was choice when I
first taught in the 1970s. When I taught most recently, I offered
choices within my lessons. You can too.... start with baby steps - or
jump in feet first.


Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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