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My favorite aspect of the program is that the kids learn through direct
experience. They go to the wetlands, talk with ecological experts, and
communicate directly with artists. It's like a year long field trip! Only
better, as the kids do projects in reponse to what they learn, and create art
that is an integral part of the program.
As a potential first time teacher I would love to experiment with this type
of project. I would, however, scale it down considerably. I would start
with a single class of grade school kids and examine an environmental issue
in Tucson. Here, we do not have wetlands. In fact, our major problem is the
lack of water in general. We have a growing population and a decreasing
I would first try to give my class an emotional/aesthetic appreciation of
water. Then, I would present ecological and biological information. The
history of population growth/water usage would be examined, which could lead
As they did at Pickerington, I would utilize as many field trips as possible.
I would take the kids to lakes, recycling and treatment plants, specially
designed homes, and Arcosanti.
I would synthesize the knowledge and experiences from the field trips and in
class lessons through art, such as Haiku, and various studio projects. I
would also try group discussions that would lead to letters to the editor of
the local papers. Finally, I would work with the children to create a public
access program that would bring all the previous projects together and help
them focus on how to present what they learned to others.
arted university of arizona