I know many elementary art teachers on the list have discovered
success with TAB Choice (TAB - Teaching for Artistic Behavior). Below
is a post from a High School Choice teacher.
(In response to this message from Mikel )
> This is another reason why Choice is really changing
> my life. The kids feel like they are doing worthwhile
> work and they are telling their teachers and talking
> about art all of the time. They are going home and
> telling their parents and slowly...or maybe quickly
> since it has just been three weeks, the art room is
> becoming a focal point of the school to everyone but
> the teachers. I have a feeling that they will be next!
Mikel said a lot about differences at the levels and how so much is
dependent on the teacher(s) for creating the community. I teach high
school and I teach 5 different things - Photo, Digital Design, AP,
Advanced Art and Why Man Creates which is an aesthetics class. There
is no way I could survive without choice especially since my Advanced
and AP are at the same time. Yesterday I asked if anyone was planning
to drop art and the answer was "Who would ever drop a Knott
course?" I also said the only thing you have to have in this class
is an opinion. And the reply was "This is why we love you."
This is what choice has given me. Kids that want to be in my class.
......I can't think of anything more to ask than to have kids thinking,
talking, and doing art and wanting to be in a place, and especially
directing and choosing the path of their expression.
I wish wish everyone that is in an art education curriculum would be
asked to truly examine "what makes the artist?" and spend more time
on the motivations, than all the weary methods. I go through the
nonsense of the required lesson plans, but all I care about is the
prompt for the day --- make it bigger, make it smaller, make it
bolder, make it more subtle...... Let them find the ways and means to
answer the prompts.
I started my art classes with a grab bag. They selected a snippet of
paper with a message on it. They have 5 days to make 25 pieces based
on the message and all I want is for them to be able to think. Kids
don't get much chance to play and think, mostly they regurgitate.
I struggle with this thought "who cares about art?" How can I
make art something to care about?
Who cares what the other teachers think when you have kids thinking.