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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Marilyn G. Stewart (stewart)
Tue, 24 Sep 1996 23:04:49 -0400 (EDT)

I am fascinated with the discussions about engaging students in
philosophical inquiry. This is one of my primary interests and I am
currently writing a book, to be published by Davis Publications, on
teaching aesthetics.

I also am inspired by all the responses to Terry's questions about studio
critiques. I wonder if I might also get some of your input regarding
your experiences in engaging students in philosophical inquiry.

I have worked with many teachers on this topic and have many examples of
student writing and summaries of their comments and questions about
aesthetic issues, but I would like to include more in the book.

As most of you probably know, students often wonder about philosphical
issues and raise questions as they are engaged in art criticism, as they
consider the history of art, and as they engage in studio work. I
recommend what I call the "Big Questions Chart." When questions arise,
they are placed on the chart, which may take the form of a Thinking Wall
(I loved this idea), a bulletin board, or simply a long sheet of paper
displayed in the room somewhere. Even if time does not allow for a full
discussion of the question, the students are shown that questioning is
appropriate and even encouraged. Hopefully, teachers can find the time
for a discussion of one or more of the questions at some point.

I also recommend taking the time to ask the students to consider
philosophical questions. Many such questions center around the nature of
art, such as those mentioned by some of you. Other philosophical
questions might focus on our responses to art, generally. For instance,
students might consider whether it is possible to dislike an art work and
still judge it as a good work. How important is it that everyone agrees
about an art work being good or not? Is it ever OK to be uncomfortable
with an art work? Is there a BEST way to respond to an art work?

Students might consider how beliefs about art influence the ways we
perceive, interpret, and evaluate art works. They might consider what
makes one person's interpretation of an art work better than another

I have created a teaching resource, QUESTIONARTE, which is available
through CRIZMAC. The questions above are just a few of those under the
"Questions About Art, In General" component of the resource, which
primarily deals with philosophical questions. QUESTIONARTE also has
questions about meaning, designed to help students engage in art
criticism, questions about origins and traditions, designed to help
students engage in art historical inquiry, and questions about making,
designed to help students engage in inquiry associated with studio
production. There are four posters, each with 15 major questions and
60 3x5 cards that include follow-up or extension questions. A
teacher's guide is included with this resource. In addition, all posters
and cards are in English and Spanish!

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used
QUESTIONARTE. In addition, I would love to hear from those of you who
would be interested in sharing your students' responses to
philosophical questions for possible inclusion in my book. You may
respond online or by sending email to my address:
stewart. Or--you might send them to me. My address is
Marilyn Stewart, Art Education, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA 19530.

Marilyn Stewart, Art Education, Kutztown University
Kutztown PA 19530 stewart@kutztownedu 610 683 4517