Sunday, January 24, 2010

week 2: what makes quality art curriculum?

What makes a quality art curriculum? What ideas did you take from the articles and chapter 9 to help you develop it?

The readings together with hands on experience have come to the conclusion that art can miss its mark and target of making an impact in the lives of students if they can not relate. Art curriculum needs to be filled with fresh, relevant, current issues and artists; just as importantly as art history needs to play a foundational role. It is easy to stick to lessons we have done as students, observed in field experience, or taught ourselves before, but teaching the same lessons over and over can lead to more than one problem. First, it fails to incorporate new trends in our society that students may very well be interested in. Second, we fail to continue to push ourselves as art educators, as students ourselves, as life long learners. If we never try anything new, we never expand our own horizons as we so often demand of our students. Lastly, using the same lessons over and over will quite simply become boring. It will bore us as teachers, and our students will sense that boredom in place of the energy and enthusiasm we should bring with new lessons and they in turn will become bored. I personally like the challenge of finding a contemporary artist as well as a historical reference for every lesson I may teach. It's not something I have tested myself with in the past, but I think I will try moving forward now. Art history is important to see where we've come from, and contemporary art shows us where we are. Instead of choosing one or the other, think of how much more interesting the lesson would be if we used both and discussed how we got from history to today. My favorite reminder from chapter 9 was to contextualize the lesson historically, and rationalize why you are teaching it. If you can produce strong answers to both, then you should have a strong lesson to share with your students.

1 comment:

  1. "Why am I doing this?" - I think that asking why is always a good start to teaching any lesson anytime. If you don't have a reason for the lesson it's time to start looking elsewhere. Sometimes the purpose is to fuse earlier lessons together, or even to let them have fun with a new medium. But ultimately you need to have a reason behind what you teach. If you sell it to your "skeptical" self then you can get excited about it for real. Our enthusiasm is contagious. We need to be jazzed about our lesson before we even think about trying to get anyone else jazzed about it.