I have the wonderful opportunity this week to work with Dr. Kimberly Sheridan a professor and one of the authors of Studio Thinking 2: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education. The conversation for Studio Thinking, Teaching for Artistic Behaviors (TAB), or Choice education in the art room has been growing in the arts community for quite some time. The book is helping to solidify many of my beliefs in how I teach and ways to vocalize the importance of teaching art.
My classroom is very close to the studio atmosphere and has included a gradual transformation of how I think and approach lessons. Reflecting on my most successful lessons the concepts of Studio Thinking or Habits of Mind connections can be made.
Part of our discussions questioned how time is spent in the art room. Seeing data that broke down time into segments was interesting to contemplate how we use our allotted time into categories of student work time, demo/lecture, critique, or exhibition time. Many administrators come to observe demo/lecture time when in reality the great learning may blossom in the interactions between teacher and student during studio time. The moments when a teacher can walk around the room and visually assess the progress students are making, redirect when needed, and encourage students to boldly continue forward in their efforts can be meaningful in student growth/understanding. I am contemplating how I can best evaluate class time to make the most of our 47 minutes of learning in the Capitol of Creativity next year.
How do you assess your use of time?
Thanks to the brilliant leaders in Richmond and the staff at George Mason University I am spending the week in the most intense, meaningful, and motivational professional development opportunity of my career.
What is VCET? Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching is held for six days on the George Mason campus and continues in the fall. Educators have traveled from all over the state of Virginia to join forces to learn how to become stronger Teacher Leaders. The Academies focus on a different areas:
The #artsed Academy started Sunday night with a wonderful dinner and fast tour of the campus. We all got settled into our dorm rooms with anticipation for Monday morning! (Yes, we teachers never stop learning!)
Monday morning we met our fearless leaders who will be guiding us on this journey : Dr. Kimberly Sheridan and Robert Stansbery.
The day started with a visual metaphor for teaching by Andy Goldsworthy.
Words bounced quickly around the room with educators relating their practice to the powerful image before us. The Portal to Learning:
"How can arts be a powerful entry into thinking?"
"What is the core of my own #artsed beliefs?"
My own beliefs have been evolving over the last few years with the rapid changes happening in our world. The addition of new technology and ways to help bring artistic behaviors in my classroom have me looking to the horizon. My focus is turned to the outward searching, looking beyond the building blocks that may seem familiar toward the framework that will guide me in the year ahead. In the months ahead I am looking forward to this process of finding a clear vision of my VCET project and the powerful changes that Teacher Leadership can help build.
I would love to hear how you might interpret the sculpture as a metaphor for your teaching?