Visual Arts: A Student-Centered Approach
For the past six years, I have worked as a Visual Arts teacher in a 2nd through 8thgrade setting at a school for students with language based learning differences. Working in this specialized learning environment has required me to consistently design differentiated learning experiences that make art accessible for all my students. Originally trained as a discipline based teacher, I transitioned to a choice-based teaching methodology three years ago to reflect current art education trends and increase the student-driven curriculum happening in my classroom. The corner stone of my teaching philosophy is Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB), a structured choice-based approach to art education that enables students to develop artistic habits through authentic learning experiences and responsive teaching. TAB emphasizes experimentation, innovation, and curiosity; students make art about the things they love (e.g. youth culture, fan art, anime, comic books, etc.) while simultaneously practicing the studio habits of artists. From research, to sketching, to refining, students are taught how each phase of the artistic thinking process works through step-by-step guidelines and regular practice.
Stop Motion Samples
Stop motion animation is a great way to tell stories in a dynamic and creative manner. In the above videos, students used a wide range of materials including playdough, paper cut-outs, and green screen images! Students love the stop motion process because they are able to quickly and easily manipulate characters and props to make their ideas come to life. The possibilities are truly endless!
Tableaux Vivants (Living Pictures) Samples
The term “tableaux vivant” means “living picture” in French and the practice dates back to the late 19th century. Tableaux Vivants are essentially carefully orchestrated still images where people pose to dramatically depict scenes from stories, artworks, pictures, etc. For this project, students worked in teams using their bodies to depict dramatic scenes while simultaneously learning basic photography skills such as framing and light their subjects.