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There are many questions that can lead students to self-discovery, growth and the creation of meaningful art work. Why would you do this? How would you do this? What made you think of this? The questions, as demonstrated above, can go on and on. The most important thing for me and my students is the encouragement. I tell my students all the time, that they are their own worst critic. Nothing has to be perfect, because no one is perfect. It is important to always try your best, ask for help when you need it, and keep a positive perspective. When students are comfortable, happy and well adjusted to their environment they will make the most progress.
I am not fully comfortable discussing feminist issues with my students. High school students are hyper-sensitive of issues that arise with gender, race and ethnicity. They are at a very vulnerable point in the development of who they are and what they stand for. I realize that it is important for students to understand such an important issue, however I think taking a full approach to this teaching method would not be successful in my own classroom. When attempting to teach my students, I think it is important to showcase artists that are displaying the importance of not only feminism but different cultures and races. By teaching students about diversity and expressing the importance of our differences, I hope to create students that are tolerant and accepting not only of women but of everyone.
The layout of a classroom is so important to the teaching that takes place. When I taught in younger grades, we used the circle set up to inform students of what was expected in that class. Many times, our lesson would be introduced with a correlating story, read while the students were all sitting in this way. After the story, our project and the steps needed would be explained and demonstrated. Students would ask any questions and then be dismissed to their seats to begin working. The time spent together in the beginning of the class, allowed students time to share ideas and possible issues, while eliminating much of the possible confusion later on. Now that I teach high school, I do not use this particular set up but do try something that may be similar. When I give a demonstration, students will stand around the table in a circle to see what is expected during a particular point in the assignment. Many times, questions and issues will arise at this time and are addressed so the whole class is on the same page. I find this to be the most effective way to reach all the students at the same time. Once the demonstration is over and students are ready to work, I circulate around the room to each table and student. I have six tables that seat four to five students, the students at each table usually collaborate, discuss, and share ideas with each other. If I had individual desks in my room, this collaboration really would not be as successful.
Art can help transform existing oppressive structures because it challenges everyday objects and opinions. In many of Judy Chicago’s works, the viewer is encouraged to think outside the box, to visualize things in a new way. This can be applied in the classroom, because it is encouraged in the art room to be yourself. To take on obstacles, projects, and assignments through an individual lens. To be successful, students need to overcome these structures.
I agree that many of the problems come from specific standards that a district will set in place. In many cases, the superintendent or administration has no knowledge or experience in special areas like art or music- making it very difficult for them to understand the challenges that come with teaching these subjects.July 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm in reply to: 3. Men's role in the struggle for women’s equality? #4920
I agree with the fact that “feminism is for everybody” (hooks, 2000) because it should not be a competition, it should not isolate just the oppression of women. It should speak to everyone that feels segregation is a part of their life or affects them everyday and inspire them to do something about it.
I agree with many of the earlier posts and with you Elizabeth when you say feminist art is perceived to be “female only.” I also believe that perhaps the perception of a man’s masculinity would be challenged by some if he took an active role in feminist art or the feminist movement. This could contribute to why it is difficult to find the names of men involved in women’s equality.