Forum Replies Created
I have tried this approach before, and always adapt a circle based conversation depending on the group of students. I do find it difficult to have everyone participate, especially if a student doesn’t feel comfortable and too much on the spot. I love the idea and do plan this upcoming school year to try more intimate conversations and critiques in this manner; but I feel that I can’t “force” a student to share.
I believe this is a tough question, and when you are in a classroom and seen as the leader (and are empowered to be) it is difficult to have your students see your role any differently. I think this is something that is encouraged through time in a classroom; for example, at the start of a new school year or semester, encouraging an environment where questions are asked of each other; a teacher converses rather than tells; a teacher provides many possibilities for students to grab from and go in their own direction, prompted and supported by the teacher asking questions (devil’s advocate, if you will) of the student. Allowing students to explore and help provoke new ideas and interests.
I feel that the largest challenges in changing art curriculum to support a change in consciousness is for teachers to allow themselves to be empowered to do so; to encourage themselves to move on from old curriculum that is not current for student’s in today’s world. I feel that this time is the most opportune for powering ahead and encouraging students to look at art through the social constructs they live in and explore these issues; with the 21st century and the goals and changes that belong to this time, it is most pertinent to change and challenge educational curriculum to fit in a diverse time.
How can artists use and identify with culture to make relevant art?
What and/or who in society need help being heard?
How can artists help voices be heard?
What social issues/problems are you concerned with? How do you identify with these problems?
I think a male can certainly create feminist art; I don’t believe feminism should be limited to female thought and action. Listening to Michael Kimmel and Linda Stein speak, Kimmel early on brings up a good point-that it is easier now in today’s world to raise strong, fierce females; less so to raise a gentle male. I found this to be a powerful and true statement, and can easily relate back to the question of males participating in feminist art/feminism. If women can be fierce and create feminist and thought provoking art, why can’t men be included in this-in supporting feminist thought and in turn sharing and provoking the gentle male role and how this might be pertinent to feminism.
When people speak of feminism and/or more specifically feminist art, I think it is most always immediately perceived as “female only”, so to speak. Looking at he history of feminism, etc. I believe that it can center itself more directly on the female role and the female’s fight for equality, leaving out the male participant. I think one reason this might be so involves trying to suppress the feminist ideal, by removing the male, in order to downplay any achievement and power that feminist art has in community and social justice.
My art curriculum differs slightly from my own experiences mainly because I have begun to take a more contemporary art educational approach to my own classroom teaching methods. My art experiences in high school were filled with supportive, amazing teachers and practicing artists who made the art rooms creative, fulfilling environments. All of which I hope to instill as well. My methods of teaching and way I view art education have evolved over this past year, much in part to the art education graduate courses I have been taking. Within my curriculum, and art projects, I focus on artistic investigation; conceptual understanding; creativity; and the elements and principles of design (and specific project techniques). I implement social media sites such as Flickr, for students to share art and create conversations over the project subject. I have begun to use more technology, such as creating WebQuests, for my students to navigate and research ideas/concepts for art projects. All of these methods I have recently discovered and are now using within my classes differs greatly from what I did in high school, and even art undergrad, but that was another time. My art portfolio consisted of 35mm slides. As times and technology have progressed, I have excepted and embraced the challenge to incorporate and implement technology and new media into my practices.
From my current experiences as a high school art educator, I feel there is a strong need for studio art and art education curricula to be changed to focus on conceptual understanding through artistic investigation, and encourage creativity through discovery. Even though these aspects of art education curricula are now addressed in the National Core Arts Standards, districts and educators need to embrace a more contemporary way of teaching and thinking within (and outside of) the art classroom. I feel that a contemporary art classroom focuses on student directed art which encourages individual attention to personal interest, looks at socio-cultural objectives, and connects students, teachers, and classroom through new media interests. I also believe that above all, students need to feel empowered and want to take ownership of their ideas, and therefore the artwork they make. Offering new challenges in the art classroom through social media dialogue which encourages collaborative conversations and pushes conceptual based thinking; and by adding the role of guide and facilitator to that of teacher, are potential elements of the core for a new art education curriculum.
With the (re)vision and (re)vitalization of the National Core Art Standards, I feel that studio art and art education is in a position now to become more relevant than ever in 21st century education, through the support of creative and innovative thinking, and collaborative processes that reach across curriculum and future career paths. I find that a current struggle in moving forward, however, is the traditional (art) education practices and teacher-centered learning that still occurs. I realize that it can be difficult to transition into new ways of thought, but as a high school art educator, I see students come into our art department and struggle with creative and conceptual thought; wanting to be told what to do in order to avoid working through an artistic process and investigation. I often find that some students lack a want of learning and discovery; it is vital that a contemporary approach to art education, complete through K-12, is taken, not only in the arts, but throughout all academic areas.