What I learned (& taught) in school this week…

We had a peer workshop set up this week: 6 stations for 6 groups… each instructor would teach the same workshop 6 times… Are you confused by the math, yet? Let me make it simple. I taught the same workshop to six groups made up of fellow teaching-students.

Ok, so, now that that’s clear, let me add the rock ‘n roll to it! Each of our full lessons (explanation, demonstration, making, and reflection period) was only TEN MINUTES long. Hyper-organization, anyone?

ARTE 220 – Makers Workshop Poster

Objective: The students will demonstrate the ability to let go of outward observation and trust their inner process (instincts) while freely exploring the messy materials. 

Rationale: The goal is to make a break from the impulse to copy and to explore the realities existing within each maker. The teacher will do the activity with the makers.

Talking Points: Artistic voice, instinct, artistic process, letting go…

Explanation with Picasso Quote: He taught us to look at expression as the indicator for art. Expression over skill. Intention of imitation…

I gave them some of my drawings to look at; asked them to pick one triggered any emotional reaction; asked them to observe it for a moment then quickly draw only the features that they were attracted to the most; after a minute, I asked them to turn over the original image and complete theirs to now reflect their own vision.

As they did this, I explained they werte now working off of an emotional memory and I wanted them to focus on that feeling to complete their interpretation of my drawings. (unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take pictures, but my supervising teacher did, and will send them asap.) Near the end, I asked them to turn the original back over and take a second to compare thier version to mine.

With only two minutes left, I asked different versions of two questions (to different groups):

Did you make the image your own and how? Most said yes and were easily able to explain how: colour choices, line choices, drawing style changes, feature modifications, etc… reflected personal aesthetics.

What part of your drawing reflects your artistic voice? This question was more challenging for most to answer. I didn’t much more then yes, no, I don’t know.

In the last few seconds, I asked a personal question to help with my self-evaluation to follow… Did knowing these original drawings were mine make it easier or harder to impose your voice upon them? We have a pretty close group in our Art ed department, but the answers were that I made them comfortable to express themselves. Success!

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2 thoughts on “The Practice of Teaching… Art

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