Monday, February 16, 2015

Beth's questioning process

Below are some questions I thought of, I also did an activity this week. Thursday, I spoke to my students briefly about modern and conceptual art.  We talked about what the word modern might mean. We also brainstormed about what artists today might make art about, social issues, etc.  I also talked to them about Spaces for Possibility, how I am still a "learner", and the ultimate goal I had of pushing them to make more art from their own personal experiences, etc. I wanted to give them a framework of understanding of why we were doing these activities, etc.  I wanted to also let them know we would be "exploring and generating" different concepts /ideas, and there wasn't a definitive "ending project" to the project yet. They were intrigued!

Next, I had my grade 5 students write down a sound or 2 that makes them feel uncomfortable, then 2 sounds they associate with comfort. Initially they were not comfortable about having to divulge this private information, but I tried to frame the activity in a "safe" way, allowing them to submit their responses anonymously.  I encouraged them to be creative, and gave them a few extra unique/weird/visceral examples from my own personal experience. Next students randomly pulled their peer's responses out of a bowl, and took turns reading them aloud to class.  I thought this would be a lighter way to gather candid information, and encourage a dialogue, while allowing all students to participate without feeling too intimidated. The idea of anonymity really appealed to them and there was complete participation and engagement!  Every child was sitting on the edge of their seat, listening to responses, (probably listening for their own as well, and curious about WHO would read their's, and how it would be received). With the unique social dynamics of being a fifth grader, this was something they seemed fascinated with:) So The students were accepting of each other's ideas and overall it was a positive, dynamic, initial experience. I video taped part of it.

What is a sound that makes you uncomfortable?  What is one that makes you comfortable?

Do you fear anything that most people would think is irrational?

When was the last time you felt embarrassed?  What happened?

Name something you think is disgusting or gross. 

Who is the person you feel most comfortable around and why? 

Name a moment when you felt ashamed.

Name a part of yourself or something about yourself you are uncomfortable with.

When was the last time you cried?

Have you ever done something you weren't comfortable with because you felt like you had to? Why?

What color would you associate with comfort?  What about discomfort?

Ideas where comfort becomes uncomfortable-
Can you think of a time, like a party, a vacation or holiday, that was "supposed" to be a fun/joyous/comfortable event, that may have turned out to be an uncomfortable experience?

ideas of discomfort "transforming" to comfort...
When you are feeling upset, what makes you feel better?

Is there a part of yourself, or life that you used to feel uncomfortable with that you now embrace?

I thought of a few other ideas as well, but thought I would sit on them for a bit. Either way, I am going to connect last week's activities to this week's, in some way, just not sure how yet! Let me know if you have thoughts!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Continuing the conversation

At our last meeting in January Olivia gave us a sheet of paper titled "Some Glossary Language from Next Generation Standards Draft" with "Identifying Objectives" on the back. Here is a reiteration of what this sheet says for those who do not have a copy.

Some Glossary Language from Next Generation Standards Draft 
By Olivia Gude 2014.

Formal and conceptual vocabularies:
In diverse, multi-cultural, dynamic, globally aware contemporary societies, there is not a single set of words, ideas or terms that can sum up the many possibilities for understanding, making and interpreting works of art or design. Throughout the Next Generation Visual Arts standards, the term vocabularies is used to suggest that words to describe, plan and analyze works of art and design can be drawn from many traditional, modern, contemporary and continually emerging sources.

Artistic investigations
Making art is a form of inquiry and exploration. Through artistic investigations, artists go beyond illustrating pre-existing ideas or following directions; students generate fresh insights, new ways of seeing and knowing. Artistic practice: Processes, techniques, media, procedures, behaviors, actions and conceptual approaches by which an artist or designer makes work.

Contemporary artistic practice
Processes, techniques, media, procedures, behaviors, actions and conceptual approaches by which an artist or designer makes work using methods that , though they may be based on traditional practices, reflect changing contextual, aesthetic, material and technical possibilities of today's world. Examples of contemporary practices include such approaches as artwork made with appropriated images or materials, social practice artworks that involve audience, performance art, new media works, installations, and artistic interventions in public spaces. Art-making approaches: Diverse strategies and procedures by which artists initiate and pursue making a work.

Formal and structural characteristics
Range of attributes that can be used to describe works of art and design. Terms can be drawn from traditional, modern, and contemporary sources to create vocabularies that aid students in experiencing and perceiving the qualities of artworks, thus empowering them to create their own work and to appreciate and interpret the work of others. Vocabulary sets that will be useful to 21st century art educators and students include (but are not limited to) visual elements (such as line and color), principles of design (such as repetition and movement), postmodern terminology (such as appropriation and layering), words associated with academic drawing and painting (such as perspective and chiaroscuro), craft specific vocabulary, words associated with photography and film (such as depth of field, point of view, and shot), terms from new media (such as interactivity and responsiveness) as well as unexpected forms and structures created by the wider range of art making approaches used by artists in contemporary times.

Identifying Objectives







To see how this language gets played out in a lesson visit Olivia's Manual Barkin award speech and view pages 29-32.

I'm wondering if anyone is using this sheet to guide their process around creating their contemporary art curriculum? I'm also wondering how you are doing? It's a bit quiet out there now. I can imagine that you're all busy. I did get an email from one of our group members regarding how she led her students through an anonymous process of questioning. The students really enjoyed the process of answering a series of questions without knowing who wrote the questions. I'm curious how others have invited students into the questioning process. Where are you stuck and what is working for you?

I like this image of a high school student learning to type on a manual typewriter at the Guggenheim's education workshop. Students wanted to know where the screen was. Talk about discomfort. I bet they felt pretty strange typing on such a clunky machine.

We're going to meet on Thursday January 26th from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Center to share how our curriculum development is going. This is a time to research and share ideas. Come with questions, concerns and ideas.