A set of fifteen principles guided us as we designed the summer institute and played a central role as we developed The Dinner Party Curriculum. In any attempt to engage students in the exploration of one or more artworks, we believe our “Principles for Teaching,” based on our ideas about art and curriculum, represent solid teaching practice.

1. Start with students.
  • Who are your students?
  • What do they know?
  • What are their experiences?
2. Create community.
  • Remember that everyone has something to contribute.
  • Create opportunities for involvement.
3. Find IDEAS.
  • Spend time with the artwork.
  • Seek different sources for information about the artwork.
  • Look for different perspectives.
4. Look for metaphors.
  • Interpret meanings.
  • Identify symbols.
  • Look for connections.
5. Extend the community.
  • Invite experts into the classroom.
  • Reach out to local and regional artworld communities.
6. Encourage dialogue.
  • Reflect and respond.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
7. Establish a safe place.
  • Encourage a critical engagement in a climate of trust, support, and respect.
8. Make room for multiple voices.
  • Promote decision-making and negotiation.
  • Recognize issues of difference.
9. Make comparisons.
  • Introduce other artworks.
  • Create rich juxtapositions.
10. Explore contexts.
  • Think historically.
  • Consider social, cultural, and artistic connections.
11. Encourage inquiry.
  • Ask questions.
  • Provoke questions.
  • Engage in research.
12. Guide practice.
  • Teach skills for investigating meaning in artworks.
  • Teach skills for art making.
  • Practice both kinds of skills often.
13. Be flexible.
  • Be open to possibilities.
  • There’s always room for change.
14. Reflect.
  • Where have we been?
  • Where are we?
  • Where are we going?
15. Find support.
  • Identify advocates.
  • Share information.
  • Articulate reasons for study.
Download Teaching Principles here

Download Teaching Principles here