CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

And so we begin!

I like to ask a big question at the start of each year (or trimester, in this case). It is interesting to see how student artists respond to big questions. In the past I have asked: “What is Art?” or “Why make art?” Once I asked “What is the purpose of art.”
Some 8th Grade Boys' Responses
This year I realized that the 8th graders, for the first time in this school, are ones I “raised” from 5th graders 3 years ago. These are my 8th graders. And, the incoming 5th graders have just come from an elementary program where choice-based art was introduced last year. So these 5th graders are the first batch of kids I have ever received who have had a prior experience in a student-directed studio art setting. Exciting stuff!
So the question I asked was easy for my students to answer: WHAT KIND OF ARTIST ARE YOU?
Some 5th Grade responses
Students might say they are a painter or a potter, or maybe a portrait artist or a landscape artist. Some said they were fiber artists and one an abstract expressionist. My 8th graders have had 3 years to discover the answer to this question, and the new 5th graders are enthusiastic about developing their skills and ideas around subjects or media that they are exploring.
Some 8th grade girls' reponses

Friday, August 17, 2012

"The Book" is Here at Last!

I am THRILLED to announce the debut of our book: The Learner-Directed Classroom!!!

This is an anthology I have been working on with my colleague Diane Jaquith. It illustrates how learner-directed practice looks and works in real classrooms at all levels. Contributors to the book are experienced teachers interested in learner-autonomy, creativity and a new vision for art education – and education generally. 
Did I mention that I am THRILLLLLLED!!! Thank you Diane for suggesting this project - It is an inspiring collection and a valuable resource. Thank you also to all the contributors - You are my heroes.
The book will be available in September, but you can pre-order now!