people believe that art education and art advocacy are about teaching
drawing, or learning the color wheel, or making a craft project
to take home. Art education is also about a way of seeing, of
understanding the world with a lens of crtical thinking, assessment,
and using our personal experiences to analyze and understand what
is around us.
If you work
with a school, museum, or a community group, I can absolutely
help you to set up a curriculum and work through ideas and activities
to create the best art education experience for your situation.
You don't have to be experienced in art! Art has potential for
many interdiscplinary connections, and relevance for many different
audiences and age groups. Contact me for more information.
Ed philosophy, in a nutshell
can introduce and hone many useful and high-level skills which
are useful: observation, analysis, group discussion and learning,
sequential thinking, understanding of abstract concepts, and
analysis, to name a few. For me, one of the central parts of
art education is learning to be a detailed observer, create
an experience where one have a community of learners and learn
about artwork and artistic processes through discussion and
dialogue, and delve into analysis of a work, and find a way
that the artwork, artist, or art process is relevant to her/his
life. I also do not believe that every art lesson/learning experience
has to involve a take-along project.
In my career,
I have spent more time working in a museum setting, and it is
absolutely true that having an artwork in front of you does
make a difference. But, no matter what setting you choose for
your art education, it is important to keep some basic goals
and ideas in mind:
¥ Keep students
¥ Make artwork more accessible and less foreign
¥ Have students discover information about the work based on
their own experiences instead of having it read to them or through
¥ Your focus will come back to questioning methods and process
of learning, not facts and memorization.
have written about asking questions as the central way of learning
for any pedagogical interaction. Many
of the questions I use for aspects of art education, such as
visual culture, are actually pulled from feminist and cultural
studies. In museum education, there's also a tie with questioning
using the art object as a central point, not relying as much
on historical fact and figures, but on the discussion of the
group and insights drawn on students' prior knowledge and critical
thinking skills. The label, context of resources, and art historical
research is important, but it is not the only central point
from which the education of the object takes place.
creating-dialogue approach has many advantages:
source of information is in front of you
--Validates the viewers' own experiences as part of the learning
process, instead of assuming that they know nothing about the
--Natural segue to further research and interest based on internal
curiosity, not on assigned reading without experiencing the
--Helps create an independent, self-sufficient learner -- teaching
the viewer to fish instead of feeding information.
the future, the student is with an unfamiliar object, s/he will
have an experience of using questions to guide themselves through
the process, instead of assuming that the work is foreign to
them and thus, unreadable. They will also rely on their own
experiences to add meaning to an object or artwork.
mean all questions will be answered? Of course not, but it does
mean that you will know more based upon your careful observation
and experience, and know what questions you would like to answer
to understand the art object more.