As I gather my thoughts and belongings at the end of the day, I can't resist peeking into the kiln to see how last night's firing went.
Look what I found! This woven bowl was made by an 8th grader. She "invented" clay weaving last year (I say "invented" because although she is not the first one in the world to weave with clay slabs, I did not teach or show this technique in class). Last year this student made a few small pieces using this idea that she developed. This large, ambitious, beautiful piece is a testament to this student's ability to employ the studio thinking habits: "engage and persist" and "develop craft." The
fact that she started this line of artistic inquiry last spring and
continued with it this fall is a tribute to the structure of a
learner-directed ("choice-based") art program where students can engage
with ideas and skills in their own time and at their own pace and to stay with an idea until they are "done."
This student has art class for 2
1/2 more weeks, and then is done with middle school art. Or middle
school art is done with her. I hope she has internalized many of the
studio thinking habits practiced in the art studio, has "fallen in love" with some idea, technique, tool or medium, and continues to make art and artmaking a part of her life.