Art with Choices
There are several approaches to teaching art and throughout my career as a teacher I always try to engage the most students with a passion for creating art. Year after year I develop class projects, see how the students respond and modify the project for the next year. To me the teacher directed class project seems to be missing the element of creativity, self expression and the excitement of creating something new.
I recently found out about teachers that are buzzing about what happens when art projects in classes are directed by the student. This approach to teaching art is called Student Choice. There are two well developed methods for student choice called Teaching Artistic Behaviors and Studio Habits of Mind. Both of these approaches are similar and encourage independent thinking, problem solving, and allow students to develop the skills and thought process that allows for the creation of original works of art.
I am excited to see where the journey into student choice art instruction will take us. I anticipate students that will be able to choose what messages they want to express, practice the skills they need to develop, and feel the pleasure that comes from making art.