Observational drawing Lesson 1
To move forward in our independent project students need to:
We must foster a thirst and talent for innovation in our pupils themselves, so that they are not pupils at all, but innovators.
There is little use changing our own mindsets as educators and becoming innovators ourselves, without creating innovators in our classrooms. The current curriculum and the systems in place tend to put stringent requirements on pupils all aiming to finally pass those end-of-school exams. Those that are not talented test-takers or those who do not thrive in an academic environment do not often get a chance to exercise their talents. In the innovative classroom, everyone should be able to use their skills and special abilities to solve problems.
It is vital that we recognize these abilities to create opportunities for pupils to show what they can do. Creating a problem is the easy and fun task of the teacher. With some guidance and a few strategies, we can see our pupils soar. They will surprise us with their creative and collaborative thinking when they are given the chance to do things on their own.
We may think that setting specific parameters and “babying” pupils so that they reach our desired outcome is responsible teaching, but stifling creativity is hardly the way to make innovative human beings.
“Innovation” is many things: intimidating, awe-inspiring, motivating, exciting, challenging, unknown and most importantly, it is vital.
I couldn't agree with this article more, after reading it I started to think about opportunities I offer pupils to innovate within my classroom. To explore their creativity, take risks, collaborate and problem solve. I work hard to allow pupils to make their own creative decisions, I do not want 30 pieces of the same artworks in my lessons. But it got me into thinking 'Do I allow enough creative freedom?' I recently read about 'choice based art education'. It is something I do already, to an extent, but why not hand over all creative decisions to my pupils? The outcomes this could lead to really excited me; and so this is what I am trying within my classroom.
So far I absolutely love it. What better reward do you get as a teacher than a buzzing classroom, creativity in lots of different areas and mediums, problem solving, independence and more importantly pupils taking responsibility for their learning because they are driving the outcome..
CHOICE-BASED ART EDUCATION regards students as artists and offers them real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of art. This concept supports multiple modes of learning and teaching for the diverse needs of students. The learning environment provides resources and opportunities to construct knowledge and meaning in the process of making art. Choice-Based Art Education utilises multiple forms of assessment to support student and teacher growth.
The aim for this project is that Students move independently through their project, utilising materials, tools and resources as needed in their art making. The classroom will be arranged to provide students with independent learning opportunities.
This lesson we went back over positive and negative space and looked at collage to create a NOTAN inspired artworks. Pupils had one sheet of black paper. They had to plan a design thinking about a successful balance and creating harmony within the design. The pupils that were more able flipped their shapes a number of times to create more positive and negative areas within their original design.
This project is great for forward planning and working carefully to cut and place your shapes to realign the black sheet edges.
As an extension to our textured watercolour paper project students used the internet to look at different ways to fold paper to create 3D sculptural objects. I love the look of this paper when it is hit with different light.
Turning our paper reliefs into a collaborative sculpture
Positive and Negative Space
This lesson we focused on positive and negative space to design our lino print. We used different levels of Arabic patterns to allow pupils challenge when thinking about where to put positive and negative space to create a successful pattern to print.
Displaying our prints
This lessons learning intention was focused on creating texture using water colour techniques.
We had a carousel of different techniques including:
Inks on water colour paper covered with cling film, when the cling film is dried it is removed creating a texture resembling broken glass.
The next table they used water and ink and added salt, the salt absorbs the inks, creating an interesting texture.
After that they added alcohol to ink on a page, the alcohol makes the ink disperse creating a nice effect that resembles craters.
We then screwed up paper and did a colour wash. The inks gather on the creases and give the look of fabric.
The next was ink and washing up liquid. A straw was used to blow bubbles and these were then printed by placing white card over the bubbles.
The next table added coffee granules to water and watched the effect that they created when they start to dissolve.
Next week we will be creating lino prints to add onto our backgrounds. Log on next week to check out the end results.
Evaluating our project
We spent this lesson evaluating our designs. I have created guidelines to support this but we started the lesson writing on padlet things that we have done throughout this lesso, reflecting on the things that we found difficult and new materials we used.
We then looked at our starting point and where this has lead our artwork.
How we have changed our image and reflecting on the materials we have used.
Students then fed this back and we made bullet points of key elements that are non negotiable in our evaluations.
Students then had good groundwork to begin their evaluations. I marked these as they were done, extending responses and pushing students to evaluate and analyse decisions and processes. I was really impressed with the amount of subject terminology used, and was overjoyed when reading their reflections on the skills they have learned; and how much they have seen a development in their ability.
I was excited to have a student teacher this year, she is currently studying through Teacher Learning and Leadership for All (TELLAL), I have had trainee teachers in the UK before putting them through PGCE and GTP courses so it is really nice to get back into a mentoring role as teaching and learning is what I love.
TELLAL is designed to mentor, stimulate and provoke change, it supports and encourages schools to collaborate in ‘growing their own teachers’. Through the program, teachers will develop and learn in real life school environments, while schools can nurture their own teaching and leadership capabilities.
My trainee had her first whole lesson today and I was really impressed with the standard of knowledge and teaching. She picked up on our Pop Art abstract art work and did a lesson on adding tone and colour to add depth to our artwork. She used the visualizer to do demonstrations for the different techniques and created visuals for students to refer to. Great start and I loved seeing the work progress with colour.
Pupils should be taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. They should develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.