“If you get 25 of the same thing from students, it's not a project, it's a recipe.”So I read the above quote over on one of my favorite art blogs artofapex.com and it seriously messed with me...like made me stop and go, "Oh WOW!...Geezz (hand-smack to face)."
Seriously this blog, the teachers, and the projects blow my mind. I will admit that a dream of mine would be to spend a week just hanging out with Ian Sands and observe him in his classroom.
But anyway back to what this post is really about... I'm trying to wrap my head around a teaching concept called TAB: Teaching for Artistic Behavior; otherwise known as Choice-based art education. TAB classrooms treats students as artists and allows the students to decide what kind of art they want to make based on their interests and their own ideas. Most TAB teachers have their rooms set up with centers for different materials that students can use freely to create their artwork.
I experimented a little with this the last few weeks of school when the seniors left and I had smaller classes. I let my students pick their projects and medium and I was beyond surprised at what they completed. Here are just are just a few of what they created when I just let them loose:
Now I'm reading books and trying to figure all this out for the new school year. I read this great article if you're interested in checking it out Teachingforartisticbehavior.org.
I know that I need to rearrange my classroom and figure out how I'm going to tackle things like grading and lesson plans. So for now I'm researching, reading, pinning, and planning while trying to wrap my head around all of this and how it will all play out in my classroom. But I feel that I have to move into this direction and start teaching my kids how to be artists and not just produce "art recipes" that I assign them. I'm a little freaked out about all the changes, releasing control, things failing terribly, looking like I don't know what I'm doing to my students, and just the extra work I know I will have to do initially. But I'm also looking forward to this new adventure, pushing myself to be a better teacher, providing an environment that fosters creativity in all students, and helping to create students that are better artist...I mean, really isn't that what its all about anyway??
~Till Next Time :)