Art provides an opportunity for students to explore ideas and concepts where there is no right or wrong answer.
Art provides an opportunity for students to study concepts in depth by first understanding them and then applying their knowledge into the creative process.
Art provides an opportunity for students to focus on a project for a long period of time learning to continue engaging and persisting through failures and obstacles.
Understand, Know and Do
The big idea or what the student will understand guides the entire lesson and is transferable outside the art room. Students understand the big idea through creating art using content knowledge. Students use their knowledge to inform their art making and their art making enforces their understanding of the big idea.
Relationship between instruction and assessment.
Assessment should be done prior to, during and after teaching a lesson.
Assessment allows the teacher to see what students already know about methods, concepts and ideas so that he/she can tailor the instruction to meet the students where they are.
Assessment also allows the teacher to see where students are struggling while they are moving through a project to further tailor instruction.
Assessment allows the teacher to evaluate whether or not and how well students were able to understand and utilize the new content.
Instruction should dictate what an assessment is evaluating and what type of assessment would provide the best feedback.
In-class critiques are one way to use assessment to reflect student learning. An in-class critique requires students written or verbally to reflect on and explain their decision making.
Provides students opportunities to reflect through assessment cements student learning.
An assessment should be for both student and teacher. Assessment informs instruction for the teacher and pin-points areas where students have gaps in understanding. Assessment also allows for students to reflect on what they’ve learned and the progress the they’ve made. Further it allows students to observe their own learning.
Instruction and Management
Making learning meaningful:
Providing choice in the classroom both allows students to take ownership over their work and their education and it allows the teacher to better manage the classroom. Offering students choice allows for increased engagement where students are excited to create a work that has personal meaning. When students are thoroughly engaged in their work many issues of classroom management that stem from disengagement are no longer an issue.
Within each lesson a successful teacher allows students time to come up with their own unique ideas and solutions to the lesson’s prompt. When students are allowed to identify and utilize their own solutions they have a personal connection to their work and therefore are personally motivated and engaged.
A successful teacher embeds layers of scaffolding into each lesson which allows for differentiation in both access and expression of learning. Within the classroom a teacher may allow for students to have a choice of materials in completing an assignment. Not only does this allow for more diverse solutions to the lesson’s prompt but it also allows students to complete the assignment in a way which works best for their unique needs. In this case ALP students may chose a more complex way of making which allows them to dig deeper into the subject while IEP students may chose a material or process which is familiar to them where they can continue developing particular skills. In another situation a student who has difficulty concentrating when surrounded by their peers may be allowed to work in the hallway or in another room which is quieter. The teacher may also allow for students to explain their work in multiple ways. Students, for example, may be given the option to write or verbally express their learning.
Classroom Design and Management:
The art classroom is designed to be a safe space which facilitates exploration into the creative process for all students. The classroom design allows for students to have access to materials and that the environment allows for maximum productivity. While students have access to materials it is a privilege to use them under the condition that students use them safely and respectfully.
The design of the classroom also aids the development of classroom culture. When the design of the classroom allows for easy transitions through the various aspects of a single lesson and the movement through multiple classes and age groups the overall culture reflects the ease of design function.
Through a successful management plan a teacher can create a culture where all students respected, safe and free to explore. When students feel supported in their explorations they are able to better engage in the process, attach personal significance and gain more from each lesson.
One way in which teachers can support classroom culture is through critiques. Whether critiques are done during an assignment or after, inviting students to explore ideas in discussion helps each student feel their opinion is valued. Critiques also help establish respect within the student body where students can learn to value and respect opinions and ideas that differ from their own.