>. . . I would like to buy her some of those books you all have
been talking about. For first time teachers. What were they? . . .
I recently read a book recommended earlier on artsednet, Encouraging
Creativity in Art Lessons by George Szekely.
Chapters include the art process, classroom for artistic learning,
lesson planning, evaluation, and others. It is out of print, but
available used for about $8.
Szekely describes methods of learning to think, plan, and respond
like artists. He foreshadows, asks questions, and involves students
in lesson planning. He engages their subconscious minds with
homework that includes sketching, journals, idea books, collections,
etc. Class artwork comes after ideas have time to incubate and grow.
Students collect and develop ideas and begin to sort ideas long
before the deadline. Ongoing preparation and anticipation insures
self-motivated passion for the work. To accommodate extended
preparation time, several assignments move forward simultaneously
with staggered completion dates - much like artists generally work.
Involving students as assignment planners changes habits of thinking.
Instead of worrying about pleasing a teacher for a grade, they become
curious and think about what they want to learn, what they want to
master, and what has value to them. They begin to notice that all of
life is art and art is life. The artistic life is making many
choices. The artistic life juggles many assignments. The artistic
life finds positive expressions for passions. Art class at its best
practices and foreshadows an artistic life. The amount of material
covered matters little unless it is seen to matter to the learner.
Students find ways learn what they need to know if they have learned
to fashion assignments around their passions.