1. How do you read a book?
When I read I usually read in bed or when I’m traveling on a train or plane. When I’m at home I have a whole set up ritual I go through. Usually I find myself a snack get a big glass of water and change into comfy pants. That’s how I usually read a book.
2. In thinking about how to teach, what is your opinion about the presence of absence of the teacher? Sugata Mitra, studies how children teach themselves. For example, by placing computers in remote villages in India, and asking the children questions, then leaving them…
Sugata Mitra style really appeals to me as it’s how I teach myself so many things. Any questions I have I usually go to the internet to see how other people have done it or what the experts have to say. I’m not sure how I feel about allowing kids to access the internet during exams. I think it’s an important skill to learn how to teach yourself. I think it leads to lifelong learning. If you can’t figure things out by yourself then you are forever dependent on others to help you and that’s never a position I want to be in.
3. How do you think about helping students become better artists? What does it mean for a child to be an artist? What does it mean for an adolescent to be an artist?
I really want my students to have a lot of independent time in class to explore what they are interested in. I was thinking maybe I’d allow them to submit ideas of what they want to do for their AP portfolio and explore what they really want to do.
What does it mean for a child to be an artist? I think it means to be a researcher. As a child you are exploring, learning and experimenting. To be an artist as a child is to be curious.
What does it mean for an adolescent to be an artist? I think it means to be a researcher and executor of ideas. I think that by adolescents you are still doing all the exploring, researching and playing but you usually have some more concrete ideas you are exploring and you use art as a way to search for more answers or express yourself.
4. What other ideas do the authors stress in thinking about how to teach?
Remember your students art work isn’t about you.
Don’t try to decide for your students what you are going to teach them.
Teach them about working artists.
Steal your students’ ideas and make them into lessons
Allow your students minds to wonder and find their place.
Allow students to play and don’t make it so serious.
Make your classroom all about the work. The process of art.
DO HAVE A CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT PLAN
Remember no two students are alike and won’t have the same experience no matter if it’s considered the “best practice.”
Teach your students the basic skills they need techniques, critics, skills but allow them to do what they really want to do.
5. There is an interesting section about process and product. In your experience and practice as an artist or teacher, how to do think about the relationship between product and process?
The book talked about fighting against the pressures of the school, parents and outside sources to have all your student’s produce polished works and allow your students to create their work. Student agency is so important. We have to fight back our own fears we have if the students make work we don’t understand and still allow them to make what they desire to make. We can continue to help them with knowledge we do have technically or find artists who do similar skills to what the student is looking for, but we can’t let our fears hinder the students experience.
6. Classroom management is an important issue for teachers, especially beginning teachers. The authors describe 14 aspects of classroom management. Write a response to one or two of them.
1. Consider never using the term “classroom management”
2. Ninety percent of a good learning and teaching environment has to do with curriculum.
3. You do not need to expect the same norms of behavior as are appropriate in other contexts.
4. You should be extra collaborative with teachers and staff around this question.
5. Make your own rules but make as few as possible.
6. Make your rules serve the art-making and the discipline, or be clear that they are about something else.
7. Don’t drive yourself crazy.
a. Accepting that the classroom is my space too is important to me. I love for my students to be happy and excited, but I need order and to protect my own sanity. I feel like students usually pick up on if today is the day to play or the day to work. I’m actually shocked how sensitive and intuitive some kids can be. I think for me having pretty solid ground rules is important.
8. Be flexible.
9. Involve students
10. Avoid appealing to external authority
11. Don’t escalate conflicts unnecessarily.
12. Do not allow yourself or others to use art0making as a reward or to deny it as a punishment
13. You are a role model. You are not a role model
a. This idea relieved a lot of anxiety I was having about being front and center for a lot of students. “The only role you should model is you.” I think sometimes I require permission to be myself because I always assume people would rather have someone else. The book had a lot to say about being spontaneous and that’s impossible if you aren’t being yourself.
14. Be yourself
6. The authors also write about artistic influence and exemplars. In the history of art education this has been a huge topic. Some theorists claim that showing students artistic models or exemplars will discourage or stunt creativity. How do you think artistic exemplars should be used?
YES artistic examples need to be used. Art is just as academic as any other subject and we have a history and a culture that needs to be examined and shared! We need to know who has come before us so that we can build off their work or steal bits just for ourselves. I find that most artist carry a past artist close to their heart like a token or talisman who guides them through their own art making process.
To deny a student anything that could help them or connect them to the art world is wrong. If the resources are available to me they will be available to my students.
I did a little bit of research about mandalas and learned that mandala is Sanskrit for circle or a discoid object. A mandala can be defined in two ways: externally as a schematic visual representation of the universe and internally as a guide for several psychophysical practices that take place in many Asian traditions, including meditation usually represented by a square with a circle inside. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol for religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, but has been found all over the world.
Within modern culture the term "mandala" has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. Mandalas can be used as an instrument for meditation and has a long tradition of being a spiritual guide tool to establish a sacred space to aid in meditation and trance induction.
Mandalas though commonly attributed to Asia mandalas have a long history in the America's as well. Mandalas have been found in Mayan temples. Mayan presented their calendars in a mandala form or the "Wheel of time" a Kalachakra. The Aztecs also used mandalas to represent the universe. At first it was thought the Aztecs were also representing calendars but it is now understood to be a religious representation of the entire universe.
Mandalas can be found all over it has become a popular architectural design, they can even be found within Christianity in church window and contemporary fashion. I've started seeing them everywhere now that I know about them.
THE SPELL OF THE YUKON
Robert William Service
I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy — I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall, --
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.
No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there's some as would trade it
For no land on earth — and I'm one.
[...] There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease;
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace.
“The state of the human soul and the environment are interconnected, with each affecting and influencing the other. The earth, all living things and the expanse of the universe all eloquently witness of God.” (lds.org)
Teaching our students about our connect to the Earth is the moral responsibility of every teacher. We are part of nature and being stewards of the earth is our privilege. Teaching Art in a way that allows our students investigate our connection to the Earth will foster a respect for the natural world. Teaching Plein Air painting will ground our students in traditional arts and skills
We have a moral responsibility to our students to expose them to concepts of nature and environmentalism.
Why are we taking student outside, learning about ecological issues and studying George Inness and landscape and wilderness, Thoreau, Wendell Berry, plein air?
Connect research to art-making
Increase appreciation, respect, reverence for the natural world
So students will learn how to use oil paint, oil pastel, paint paper, learn about color.
Learn to appreciate and understand American traditions of landscape painting
and other landscape painting traditions
And become literate in an artistic tradition
Student will learn to persist, to keep going, to try things that might fail
They will connect their artwork to broader contexts and important issues
Like ecology, climate change, ecological devastation, extinction...
Students will create personally meaningful artwork informed by artistic traditions, contemporary art and important ecological issues.
They will become conversant with our culture's and other culture's ideas about nature, including how it is portrayed in visual culture.
Artists to study:
Christo and Jeanne Claude
The Red Earth Environmental Art Group.
Bean museum on BYU Campus (students can examine the vast diversity of life, we could probably arrange to have the insect vaults opened so students could draw insects)
Springville Museum (There's many artworks at this museum about Utah and nature)
Guatemalan Maya Weavers
Tibetan Buddhist san painting
David Attenborough: Natures Curiosities
Gorillas in the mist
Questions for Students:
What is progress? Can art change the world?
How do you interact with nature?
How does nature interact with your daily life?
How does culture construct “nature” and our relationships to “nature”?
How does art and visual culture influence or shape ideas about nature?
What is the opposite of nature?
Do you feel a sense of spirituality in nature?
When do you notice nature?
How has our relationship to nature changed?
How are we part of nature and how are we separate from nature?
How is civilization progress? How is civilization not progress?
How do people connect with places and what are our relationships to the places where we live? What are sacred places and how do they become sacred?
What ideas about nature and our relationship to nature are revealed or hidden in collections?
1: Drawing eggs
A simple activity that allows students to study value, shape and traditional drawing techniques.
2: Painting paper
Allows students to study color, expressionism and texture.
3: Replicated a Willem DeKooning
Using the same techniques, we learned from painting paper we tried to replicate a Willem DeKooning painting and realized the complexity of brush strokes, emotion and abstraction.
4: Replicating a George Innes
Using the painted paper from the day before students will choose a George Innes painting to replicate.
5: Digital Paintings
We scanned our George Innes paintings in and created digital paintings.
6: Oil Pastel
We were given images and used Oil Pastel to recreate them.
7: Plein Air Painting
We took a trip to Rock Canyon and painted nature we learned about atmosphere and color theory
8: Travel Plein Air Painting
We Traveled to Green River Valley, hiked partook in nature and plein air painted the gorgeous natural Environment of Southern Utah.
We took sketchbooks on nature walks and made drawings of nature and the things we found along the way.
10: We could have visited the Bean Museum
and looked at all the different species of animals and verity of life. We could have painted or sketched there for a day.
11: SLC Salt Flats
We could have gone to the salt flats and painted or taken photographs. As well as created art in the salt and possibly gone to the Spiral Jetty.
12: Trash collection
We could have collected all of our trash from a week or even a few days and taken pictures of it or even made art from it.
13: Environmentalism and Food
We could have examined our food and what sustainable food sources really are.
14: Contemporary Environmental Artists
We could have studied the work of Christo and Jeanne Claude, Robert Morris, Chris Jordan, Agnes Denes, Edith Meusnier, Nils-Udo, Andy Goldsworthy as well as the Red Earth Environmental Art Group.
15: Creating with environmental packing peanuts
Allow students to build devises or hats from packing peanuts by licking them and sticking them together.
Students will create an artwork related to what we learned in this unit and will defend how it relates to environmentalism and shows what they have learned during this class.
* For my final project I went camping in Southern Utah and went pIein air painting. I created 9 plein air oil paintings as well as water watercolor sketches of nature. I also collected rocks I like holding and had a connection with.
I read Tempest Williams book The Hour Of Land: A personal Topography of America's National Parks . It discussed America's National Parks with each chapter discussing her personal experiences in one of our nations parks. Her experience with land is extensive from experiences with her father camping and traveling to her own quests as an adult. She discusses seeing the damage that fracking has done and how so many people visit our national parks and love them. She had so many beautiful quotes in this book about how by saving nature we save ourselves.
Tempest Williams Quotes
“Our public lands - whether a national park or monument, wildlife refuge, forest or prairie - make each one of us land-rich. It is our inheritance as citizens of a country called America.”
“The irony of our existence is this: We are infinitesimal in the grand scheme of evolution, a tiny organism on Earth. And yet, personally, collectively, we are changing the planet through our voracity, the velocity of our reach, our desires, our ambitions, and our appetites. We multiply, our hunger multiplies, and our insatiable craving accelerates."
“This is what we can promise the future: a legacy of care. That we will be good stewards and not take too much or give back too little, that we will recognize wild nature for what it is, in all its magnificent and complex history - an unfathomable wealth that should be consciously saved, not ruthlessly spent.”
“The legacy of the Wilderness Act is a legacy of care. It is the act of loving beyond ourselves, beyond our own species, beyond our own time. To honor wildlands and wild lives that we may never see, much less understand, is to acknowledge the world does not revolve around us. The Wilderness Act is an act of respect that protects the land and ourselves from our own annihilation.”
"Humility is born in wildness. We are not protecting grizzlies from extinction; they are protecting us from the extinction of experience as we engage with a world beyond ourselves. The very presence of a grizzly returns us to an ecology of awe. We tremble at what appears to be a dream yet stands before us on two legs and roars.”
― Terry Tempest Williams
Some of the last chapters in the book are about her home state of Utah and the battles Utah has been fighting to keep Bears Ears National Park. She discussed one Undergraduates students stint in jail because he interrupted an auction to fracking companies bidding on newly available national lands.
"The oil lease auction occurred in December 2008, just before President George W. Bush left office.
Environmentalists accused the Bush administration of trying to ram through the sale on the environmentally sensitive land before President Obama was sworn in.
An economics student at the time, DeChristopher said he was moved by a fellow environmentalist who was watching the sale and weeping. He hoped to delay the fate of 13 parcels, which he'd offered to lease for nearly $1.8 million before officials ejected him from the auction.
"I sat there watching one parcel after another going into the hands of oil developers, and I knew the land would be pretty much ruined," he told The Times in 2009. "I got to the point where I couldn't sit there and watch anymore."
Obama's Interior Department eventually ruled that its predecessor had incorrectly administered the lease sale and yanked the parcels off the auction block. (A federal judge later ruled that the Obama administration's actions were improper, but did not reinstate the leases.)
The energy industry pushed for a prosecution, worried that DeChristopher would inspire future auction-crashers. After his conviction, federal prosecutors asked that he be sentenced to a "significant prison term" to "promote respect for the law." They maintained that he cost oil firms hundreds of thousands of dollars in higher bids for other parcels.
In his courtroom address Tuesday, DeChristopher told the judge that prison would not silence him.
"You have authority over my life, but not my principles. Those are mine," he said. "I'll continue to confront the system that threatens our future.""
Williams discusses her heartbreak that someone who saved our lands from being destroyed was allowed to spend two years in jail. She discusses her reactions and feelings to these events and discusses how she plans to bring more attention to these issues. She has taken her fight not just to the Utah State court but to the National capital. Making National Parks her priority preserving it for all of us. Her Civil disobedience to protect our lands has so far delayed destruction of our lands so that they are currently still available to us but we need to continue her work and vote the right people into office to continue her work.
“What you decide to teaches matters. It is the single most important decision that you can make as a teaching artist. It informs every other aspect of your teaching and is the place. To begin, always, when you are heading into a new teaching situation. It is also worthwhile to return again and again to this question and reexamine what matters to you as you develop your practice as artist and teacher.” Pg. 3
This is a question I’ve been asking myself almost every day in the Art Education Program. I’ve moved between Elementary or High School, Paint or Graphic Design, AP Art. The decisions seem endless and to have such different ramifications. What I’ve found is that I really need to look into myself find who I am and make decisions accordingly. I’ve been asking the Teacher I TA for what she thinks my strengths are and that was one of the most helpful things I did. She told me one of my major strengths was energy and Art History. So I’ve been curating my curriculum to include Art History. My entire curriculum is dedicated to showing students how Art moved from strict ridged representation to contemporary/ conception art. Finding something so suited to my personality and skill set has really changed how I was feeling about running my own classroom and I’ve been so excited about it all.
“We don’t help students by making shallow connections between subjects and domains of knowledge. Shallow or forced integration can often distract students from learning what we are trying to teach.” Pg. 15
This quote really reinforced to me I was making the right choice for my curriculum theme by using Art History with it’s rich history and it’s connections with humanity in general. I really feel like my students will benefit from the thought provoking issues we will examine and why such institutional shaking art processes arose from the Art movements such as the impressionists and the Abstract Expressionist and how they lead artist to freedom and the contemporary art we have now.
“We should see part of our job as teaching artists to reject both the stereotyping of our students and of all artists. We should seek the broadest possible artistic and personal experience for our students and kick open the doors to educational and other institutions where we work to allow access to all artists on their own terms.” Pg 20
I asked my self the questions he asked starting on page 19 about if there were ulterior motives within the classroom politically, it was an idea I’d never had before. I don’t think this will be a problem for me I tend to remain politically neutral. Though I do suppose I care a lot about ethical practices and environmental practices that benefit us all as the human race. The only things I could see pushing with my students is taking care of our planet and so it’s around for generations after us and avoiding toxic chemical processes in art making for their own health.
“If you can’t read in the sixth grade it will mess with your head. If you have to dodge crossfire or go hungry or attend a completely segregated school it will mess with your soul, often deeply. If you dont’ have the funds, or it’s too dangerous, to travel outside your neighborhood, it will narrow your view of the world. If you have fear being regularly hassled or worse by the cops, or ICE because of the color of your skin it can wear you down and tear you up in a thousand ways.But although conditions, color and ethnicity make us, they do not define us. Each of our students is unique, and we find this out quickly if, as teaching artists, we relate to them as fellow artists.” Pg 22
This quote I just had to add because I love the empathy of it. It takes you and puts you right into how it would be. It helped change my perspective and open me to the idea the each of my students will be bringing in the outside world with them. Their own universes and I can’t just expect them to enter my classroom and leave it all behind. I’m really interested in the idea of compiling outlets for them to express themselves and to find themselves with in Art and the projects and studio time they receive while in my classes.
This chapter was really inspirational I got so much out of it. I'd keep writing about all the quotes I highlighted and loved but this post is getting really long. I learned so much