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Lesson Plans

Re: High Schools in Museums

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 10:06:56 -0500


I'll share an idea I've been thinking of in terms of higher order thinking
skills and active learning in art history. If you want to give a general
overview of art history or of a period of time within art history, it can be
done with small reproductions of works with which most people are likely to
be familiar. I try to choose works they'll recognize and see again. If I'm
giving an example of a certain style, I want the introductory work to be the
best example of that style rather than something from the museum's collection
(which may not exemplify all of the characteristics I want it to). They can
try to put the works in order and make observations on how they are similar
to or different from one another. The application part of this can be the
main focus which takes place in the galleries. The introduction would have
to be geared to familiarize students with some major styles represented in
your collection or the exhibit in question. Then the students can be asked
to find an example of one of the styles mentioned earlier. They can write
down the characteristics which it shares with the previous work and justify
why they think it is that style. The results can be shared in a forum led by
the docent and more information given on each work chosen. This type of
self-guided "tour" may also make them feel like the museum is a place where
they can teach themselves rather than always relying on others.

Kathryn Cascio, Assistant Director
Southeast Institute for Education in the Visual Arts
(previous museum educator)