Philosophy of Art Education
My education in the arts provided me with opportunities to learn about myself, and the world around me, in creative and hands-on ways that were not easily found in the rest of my education. As a teacher, I want to use art making activities to teach valuable skills that my students will need to successfully navigate their lives, as well as grow and develop as whole individuals both intellectually and emotionally. This paper outlines my beliefs about art education, and how that translates into my classroom, and goals for my students.
I believe in incorporating the best components of a variety of movements in education to create a holistic approach to education. I believe that education should be experiential and be rooted in the lives of students, and that this constructivist, child-centered approach encourages engagement while valuing the knowledge that students bring into the classroom. I believe in a pedagogy, that asks students to solve problems, question assumptions about the world around them, and grows confidence in their ability to think and act. I also believe that education needs to be multicultural, helping students to appreciate diversity, and place themselves in the context of a complex and growing global community.
In my classroom, I incorporate these models of education within the project based learning approach. Within each lesson, I present problems that are relevant to my student's lives and ask them to solve them. Because there isn't only one answer, students will be making choices, working together, and taking risks. I will serve as a guide or facilitator that presents the context of the problem and the tools needed to carry it out. I can provide examples of artwork and information about different artists, cultures, histories and perspectives. I can incite discussions and pose questions encouraging new and creative ways of thinking. Together, we can deconstruct, and think critically about the images and messages our society creates all around us. Throughout class I will be continue to expand the student's repertoire of art techniques and skills, increasing choices for the realization of solutions, and helping them become more articulate in the ways they communicate them.
I believe that art instruction directly attends to student's needs in the cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor domains of Bloom's Taxonomy. Making art requires students to create new ideas and objects, resulting in engagement with the highest order of thinking. It is for these reasons I believe that the learning done through art production is real, profound, and lasting. Art making activities are not only a powerful way to learn, but the skills learned through art are also incredibly important. I believe art education is uniquely suited to teach the skills our students will need to be successful in the 21st century, such as, communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. These skills are not only essential skills that are nurtured in art classrooms, but are exactly the skills that our students will need to navigate and thrive in an ever more complex and competitive global society.
I believe that an art classroom needs to be a place where students feel safe and free to explore their identities, and their place in the world. I want my classroom to be a place where diversity in thought, as well as diversity in background and experience, is valued and encouraged. I believe incorporating learning about other cultures and the world in general is important, because it creates the context in which students can find and connect their personal knowledge and perspectives. Through asking students to articulate their knowledge, in a variety of ways including visually, they increase their overall literacy skills, and build self-esteem and confidence.
My goals for students are that they think of themselves as critical thinkers, capable of action. I aim to foster within them a respect for other people and ideas, while being articulate and confident about expressing their unique individual perspectives. Whether or not my students pursue art making further, I want them to think of themselves as artistic thinkers, who are creative, confident, and poised to change and impact the world we live in.