I had just about given up on this blog. My teaching philosophy has changed a lot over the years and a lot of the older content on this blog is very teacher directed, in a "25 versions of the same thing" kind of way. Over the last few years, and through coursework in Cultures of Thinking and the various models of Choice Based Art Education, I am working to do the following:
- leverage student voice and personal relevancy in their art making
- actively encourage collaboration (in art creation, idea generation, and formative assessment)
- use the Studio Habits of Mind to foster a culture of critical thinking
- take a purposeful step back to allow the students to own their cognitive and creative work
After a long conversation with the wonderful @andyvasily at EARCOS in Manila last week (he is joining our staff here at KAUST and I cannot be happier!), I decided to keep the blog as evidence that teaching is an iterative process, even after 17 years and five countries.
I thought I'd share one example of "then and now" in action. On the left is a group of Vejicante Masks that I made with students in Phnom Penh way back in 2007. Why I was doing Puerto Rican masks in Cambodia when there is a rich tradition of masks in Khmer folklore is the topic for another blog post! On the right is a group of masks that my 4th graders here at KAUST recently finished. Certainly much more variety and evidence of student choice on the right. Their Studio Habits of Mind based reflections often shine an interesting light on the rationale behind the artistic choices they made.
Could I take this even further on the choice spectrum and open it up more to how the kids choose to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts? Absolutely and I look forward to the challenge.
How has your teaching philosophy changed since you started?