Sunday, April 19, 2015

Choices in Medium and Content: Why I am a Choice-Based Art Educator

In case you missed it, we landed the FRONT page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch! Humbling and exciting with a great article written by Jessica Bock.  The article shares how choice has fueled the students' creativity and engagement.  Students are given the opportunity to work as artists to express themselves through art in medium and content.

If you missed the article, find the link here.  The online article is accompanied with a beautiful photo gallery.

As an advocate for Choice-Based learning, the exposure has been great and has lead to many inquiries on how I run things.  Of course, anyone is welcome to visit our space to see things first hand, however, it is not always easy escaping the daily adventures in ones' school.  So I want to share a candid view into why CHOICE-BASED is how I run things and who I am.
I kept pondering the question, "How do I teach art to a diverse group children to with different interests and needs?" As a mom of four young children who find great satisfaction in creating, drawing, and building... I never tell my own children how to create, I share skills with them so they can create what they want.  I want to see their inner creativity and self expression. So why not teach that way in a school?  I was introduced to the idea of TAB or Choice-Based Art by my friend and fellow art teacher, Maryellen Picker. Maryellen handed me the book, Engaging Learners Through Artmaking, Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom by Katherine Douglas and Diane Jaquith, and it was what I was looking for.

If you are interested in venturing into the Choice-Based realm, it's a must read.  It literally has changed my life.  To say that is a HUGE statement, but it has.   The creative journeys of my students inspire me daily and keep me energized.  I have learned a lot having a year under my belt.  Learn how I introduced Choice to my principal, students, roadblocks, handouts, and what I have learned thus far, so tune in.

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