CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shared Ownership

Professor George Szekely (University of Kentucky) observes that it is often the teacher who decorates learning spaces – the teacher designs the bulletin boards, decorates the door, pins up the posters, hangs the mobiles. In doing so, the teacher “owns” the space. Szekely urges teachers to share the learning spaces in school – to look for ways to allow students to “do the decorating.”

I delight in observing ways in which students take ownership of their art studio. Here are some recent examples:

"Best Class Ever" farewell sign for the art studio door from a departing 6th grade class
"Z"  (grade 5) up on the counter to hang his "Bird Flock" for display
...and an old favorite:
"Art is Amazing" banner sign by "L" -  made at grandma's and carried into school in parts when she was a 5th grader (now an 8th grader)
Probably one reason kids love choice-based art programs so much is because they get to take back a little of the control adults so casually assume throughout the school each day. Walk through the halls of your local school and see what you observe. No doubt there will be lots of student work on display, but whose choice is it to display this work?

Typical Choice-Based Art Display - Mounted artwork with "artist's statements" attached. 
 In our Choice-Based Art program, students decide whether or not their finished work will be displayed – just as do practicing artists. Often students also determine where and how their work is displayed, and for how long.