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Questions about choice-based TAB teaching (long)

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  • TwoDucks@aol.com
    You may have read the Point of View article in this month s issue of SCHOOL ARTS magazine. (Vieth, K. & Bush,D. (2008, April). Should We Be Concerned?
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2008
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      You may have read the Point of View article in this month's issue of SCHOOL ARTS magazine.  (Vieth, K. & Bush,D.  (2008, April).  Should We Be Concerned? School Arts Magazine, 107(8), 14)

      We were surprised at the tone of the article, and at the sources at the end of the article, only one of which actually relates to our work.  We were very pleased, however, to read the eight questions that closed the article.  For those who are interested in this philosophy of teaching, I post our response here. Note that the authors use the abbreviation CBAE, which we do not. (it is commonly used to denote Community Based Art Education--something completely different)

      1.
      How does CBAE differ from the classic laissez-faire art programs of the past?

      It is not clear to which 'laissez-faire art programs' the authors refer.  In choice-based learning and teaching, all students are problem-finders, developing their own ideas and following their own path of inquiry.  The open-ended structure allows students to work as artists do, developing and refining their expression over time.  Exhibition preparation and display are student-centered, providing valuable assessment of student learning.  By putting decision-making in the hands of the student, many higher order thinking skills are required of the learner.  Students justify their choices through class discussions, journals, artist statements and portfolio reviews.

      2.To what extent is the teacher’s attention divided by the number and diversity of problems arising from the multiple activity centers?

      Successful student-centered learning requires complex planning.  Studio centers contain techniques, materials and references that have all been introduced to the whole group in focused brief demonstrations.  Menus, lists of procedures and vocabulary and highly organized materials are found in these studio centers. Students who need help access these resources and peer coaches in addition to seeking teacher attention.  Students are coached in a variety of approaches to solving their own problems.  In non-TAB classrooms, to what extent is a teacher’s attention divided by behavioral problems that arise because students are frustrated by the teacher’s assignment?  How is student disinterest/apathy handled in the teacher-directed classroom?

      3.How can the teacher provide for students who need greater structure?

      Choice teachers observe their students in action and assess what they know and can do every week.  Students having difficulty for whatever reason, including learning and behavior issues, show us and we respond with prompts for investigations pertinent to the child’s interests.  Studio centers provide a good structure for differentiation with written and illustrated directions, flexibility with materials and varied options for working styles.  Because a majority of students are working independently, the choice teacher is freed up to instruct in small groups or one-on-one.  Students working in self-selected study groups support one another through shared strategies and critique.

      4.How does the teacher deal with students who choose to handle subject matter deemed as inappropriate for the school setting?

      Like any good teaching professional, choice teachers discuss subject matter in a developmentally appropriate manner. Students understand that the classroom is a public art space and as such, there may be limits placed on content due to school rules.  Students who are interested in topics inappropriate to the school setting are encouraged to pursue their interests in their home studio.  In upper levels, controversy in art subject matter is addressed through current relevant issues.  The artist’s role in commenting on social and political issues is tied to history lessons. Students are encouraged to make connections to the very important role the artist takes in commentary.

      5. How can the teacher foster the making of expressive art by students who are working in a variety of different media?

      If a student’s artwork is authentically expressive, the teacher does not need to 'foster' its making; instead, the teacher should be responding to the needs of the artist.  Choice teachers know that the students’ ideas are central to their art making.  We value children’s choice of subject matter, no matter how simple it may be.  Developing confidence in one’s ability to have an idea leads to deeper thinking and more complex content for art making in any media.

      6. How much of the teacher’s responsibility should be composed of teaching the technical proficiencies and lower order skills, such as how to join together two slabs of clay or how to mix paint?

      When students work independently as opposed to working to follow teacher directions, what they know and can do becomes very evident.  Choice teaching is directly responsive to the needs of the learners.  Instruction is purposely flexible to address student learning in all areas.  Much time is therefore available for idea generation, discussions of “artistic behaviors” and personal meaning.  In the upper levels, critique is the best means to address communication.

      7. Does the compartmentalized environment of the multi-activity centered art room in CBAE diminish opportunities for sharing and group problem-solving on a class-wide basis?

      No.  The learning environment is organized into studio learning centers, not 'compartmentalized.' Students move freely among the studio centers as their chosen work evolves. Students collaborate with one another naturally.  They assist, share ideas and work together in supportive study groups.  Like many adult artists, students who prefer to work alone on their artwork are encouraged to do so.  Work and ideas are shared throughout class and often at the end of class.

      8. Is the CBAE model more or less effective in helping students meet established state and national standards for art education?

      It is no more or no less effective than any other good art program.  The professional teacher who knows his or her standards makes certain that they are covered through instruction, assessment and careful curriculum planning.  In Massachusetts, the Visual Arts Frameworks contain multiple references to 'choosing materials and subject matter.'  How does that happen if the teacher chooses the problems to solve and the materials to use for this purpose?

      THANKS FOR ASKING!
      http://teachingforartisticbehavior.org
      References
      Douglas, K.M., Crowe, J.V., Jaquith, D.B., & Brannigan, R.  (2002). Choice-Based Art Education.  The Knowledge Loom.  http://knowledgeloom.org/tab/index.jsp
      Teaching for Artistic Behavior. (2008). www.teachingforartisticbehavior.org
      Pink, D. (2007, March 16) 2nd General Session. Lecture presented to the National Art Education Association, New York, New York.

      kathy douglas
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/





      **************
      Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL Home.
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    • Clyde Gaw
      Thanks Kathy for your quick reply and comprehensive answers to these important questions! Hi Judy and Ken! Best wishes to all! Clyde ... of SCHOOL ... Be ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1, 2008
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        Thanks Kathy for your quick reply and comprehensive answers to these
        important questions! Hi Judy and Ken! Best wishes to all! Clyde

        --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, TwoDucks@... wrote:
        >
        > You may have read the Point of View article in this month's issue
        of SCHOOL
        > ARTS magazine. (Vieth, K. & Bush,D. (2008, April). Should We
        Be
        > Concerned? School Arts Magazine, 107(8), 14)
        >
        > We were surprised at the tone of the article, and at the sources
        at the end
        > of the article, only one of which actually relates to our work.
        We were very
        > pleased, however, to read the eight questions that closed the
        article. For
        > those who are interested in this philosophy of teaching, I post
        our response
        > here. Note that the authors use the abbreviation CBAE, which we do
        not. (it is
        > commonly used to denote Community Based Art Education--something
        completely
        > different)
        >
        > 1. How does CBAE differ from the classic laissez-faire art
        programs of the
        > past?
        >
        > It is not clear to which 'laissez-faire art programs' the authors
        refer. In
        > choice-based learning and teaching, all students are problem-
        finders,
        > developing their own ideas and following their own path of
        inquiry. The open-ended
        > structure allows students to work as artists do, developing and
        refining their
        > expression over time. Exhibition preparation and display are
        > student-centered, providing valuable assessment of student
        learning. By putting
        > decision-making in the hands of the student, many higher order
        thinking skills are
        > required of the learner. Students justify their choices through
        class
        > discussions, journals, artist statements and portfolio reviews.
        >
        > 2.To what extent is the teacher’s attention divided by the
        number and
        > diversity of problems arising from the multiple activity centers?
        >
        > Successful student-centered learning requires complex planning.
        Studio
        > centers contain techniques, materials and references that have all
        been introduced
        > to the whole group in focused brief demonstrations. Menus, lists
        of
        > procedures and vocabulary and highly organized materials are found
        in these studio
        > centers. Students who need help access these resources and peer
        coaches in
        > addition to seeking teacher attention. Students are coached in a
        variety of
        > approaches to solving their own problems. In non-TAB classrooms,
        to what extent
        > is a teacher’s attention divided by behavioral problems that
        arise because
        > students are frustrated by the teacher’s assignment? How is
        student
        > disinterest/apathy handled in the teacher-directed classroom?
        >
        > 3.How can the teacher provide for students who need greater
        structure?
        >
        > Choice teachers observe their students in action and assess what
        they know
        > and can do every week. Students having difficulty for whatever
        reason,
        > including learning and behavior issues, show us and we respond
        with prompts for
        > investigations pertinent to the child’s interests. Studio
        centers provide a good
        > structure for differentiation with written and illustrated
        directions,
        > flexibility with materials and varied options for working
        styles. Because a
        > majority of students are working independently, the choice teacher
        is freed up to
        > instruct in small groups or one-on-one. Students working in self-
        selected study
        > groups support one another through shared strategies and critique.
        >
        > 4.How does the teacher deal with students who choose to handle
        subject matter
        > deemed as inappropriate for the school setting?
        >
        > Like any good teaching professional, choice teachers discuss
        subject matter
        > in a developmentally appropriate manner. Students understand that
        the classroom
        > is a public art space and as such, there may be limits placed on
        content due
        > to school rules. Students who are interested in topics
        inappropriate to the
        > school setting are encouraged to pursue their interests in their
        home studio.
        > In upper levels, controversy in art subject matter is addressed
        through
        > current relevant issues. The artist’s role in commenting on
        social and political
        > issues is tied to history lessons. Students are encouraged to make
        > connections to the very important role the artist takes in
        commentary.
        >
        > 5. How can the teacher foster the making of expressive art by
        students who
        > are working in a variety of different media?
        >
        > If a student’s artwork is authentically expressive, the teacher
        does not need
        > to 'foster' its making; instead, the teacher should be responding
        to the
        > needs of the artist. Choice teachers know that the students’
        ideas are central
        > to their art making. We value children’s choice of subject
        matter, no matter
        > how simple it may be. Developing confidence in one’s ability
        to have an idea
        > leads to deeper thinking and more complex content for art making
        in any
        > media.
        >
        > 6. How much of the teacher’s responsibility should be composed
        of teaching
        > the technical proficiencies and lower order skills, such as how to
        join together
        > two slabs of clay or how to mix paint?
        >
        > When students work independently as opposed to working to follow
        teacher
        > directions, what they know and can do becomes very evident.
        Choice teaching is
        > directly responsive to the needs of the learners. Instruction is
        purposely
        > flexible to address student learning in all areas. Much time is
        therefore
        > available for idea generation, discussions of “artistic
        behaviors” and personal
        > meaning. In the upper levels, critique is the best means to
        address
        > communication.
        >
        > 7. Does the compartmentalized environment of the multi-activity
        centered art
        > room in CBAE diminish opportunities for sharing and group problem-
        solving on a
        > class-wide basis?
        >
        > No. The learning environment is organized into studio learning
        centers, not
        > 'compartmentalized.' Students move freely among the studio centers
        as their
        > chosen work evolves. Students collaborate with one another
        naturally. They
        > assist, share ideas and work together in supportive study
        groups. Like many
        > adult artists, students who prefer to work alone on their artwork
        are encouraged
        > to do so. Work and ideas are shared throughout class and often
        at the end
        > of class.
        >
        > 8. Is the CBAE model more or less effective in helping students
        meet
        > established state and national standards for art education?
        >
        > It is no more or no less effective than any other good art
        program. The
        > professional teacher who knows his or her standards makes certain
        that they are
        > covered through instruction, assessment and careful curriculum
        planning. In
        > Massachusetts, the Visual Arts Frameworks contain multiple
        references to
        > 'choosing materials and subject matter.' How does that happen if
        the teacher
        > chooses the problems to solve and the materials to use for this
        purpose?
        >
        > THANKS FOR ASKING!
        > http://teachingforartisticbehavior.org
        > References
        > Douglas, K.M., Crowe, J.V., Jaquith, D.B., & Brannigan, R.
        (2002).
        > Choice-Based Art Education. The Knowledge Loom.
        > http://knowledgeloom.org/tab/index.jsp
        > Teaching for Artistic Behavior. (2008).
        www.teachingforartisticbehavior.org
        > Pink, D. (2007, March 16) 2nd General Session. Lecture presented
        to the
        > National Art Education Association, New York, New York.
        >
        > kathy douglas
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > **************
        > Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
        > Home.
        > (http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?
        video=15&
        > ncid=aolhom00030000000001)
        >
      • bethany_simonson
        One of the administrators at my school worked on a clay mug with a different art teacher they know (the mug is for an anniversary gift). The teacher had him
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 2, 2008
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          One of the administrators at my school worked on a clay mug with a
          different art teacher they know (the mug is for an anniversary gift).
          The teacher had him use vinigar to smooth the clay, and had him create
          the mug by forming a slab into a cylander. He scored and sliped, and
          again, used vinigar to smooth the piece together. HOWEVER, not extra
          clay was added (like a coil) to support the joint. The mug was already
          dry (but not fired) when the administrator brought it to me, and it has
          a crack (all the way through) along the joint. He is wondering if
          there is anything that can be done to salvage the mug and I am hoping I
          can find the answer for him! (brownie points! brownie points! :)

          Any advice? Also, I am not familiar w/using vinigar to smooth
          clay...can anyone explain why this teacher had him use it?

          ALSO, I asked if he dried the clay out slowly and he said yes,
          supposidly very slowly...

          THANKS IN ADVANCE!,
          Bethany from VA
        • Jeff Pridie
          Bethany, Not a ceramics expert here but using vinigar to smooth it is new to me. If th piece has not been fired you can gradually take a spray bottle and bring
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 2, 2008
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            Bethany,

            Not a ceramics expert here but using vinigar to smooth
            it is new to me.
            If th piece has not been fired you can gradually take
            a spray bottle and bring it back to a level that wet
            clay could be added to repair it. It would have to be
            done gradually and the wet clay compatible to the damp
            surface in order for it to not crack again. It would
            have to be dried slowly in order for it not crack. I
            have done this with my elementary students who make
            mugs and then are gone a lot and the piece drys out
            and they have to add things, it has worked well.

            Jeff (Minnesota)




            > One of the administrators at my school worked on a
            > clay mug with a
            > different art teacher they know (the mug is for an
            > anniversary gift).
            > The teacher had him use vinigar to smooth the clay,
            > and had him create
            > the mug by forming a slab into a cylander. He
            > scored and sliped, and
            > again, used vinigar to smooth the piece together.
            > HOWEVER, not extra
            > clay was added (like a coil) to support the joint.
            > The mug was already
            > dry (but not fired) when the administrator brought
            > it to me, and it has
            > a crack (all the way through) along the joint. He
            > is wondering if
            > there is anything that can be done to salvage the
            > mug and I am hoping I
            > can find the answer for him! (brownie points!
            > brownie points! :)
            >
            > Any advice? Also, I am not familiar w/using vinigar
            > to smooth
            > clay...can anyone explain why this teacher had him
            > use it?
            >
            > ALSO, I asked if he dried the clay out slowly and he
            > said yes,
            > supposidly very slowly...
            >
            > THANKS IN ADVANCE!,
            > Bethany from VA
            >
            >



            ____________________________________________________________________________________
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          • Michele
            I have used vinegar to repair dried (but not fired) clay. It reconstitutes the clay better than a spray bottle. However, it bubbles and fizzes and some clay is
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 3, 2008
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              I have used vinegar to repair dried (but not fired) clay. It reconstitutes the clay better than a spray bottle. However, it bubbles and fizzes and some clay is lost/damaged in the process.  Its great for small repairs (chips, small cracks) but for reattaching pieces I wouldn't try it. If there are two separate pieces I would fire them to bisque separately. Then use glue to put them back together. Then apply the glazes needed over the mend and hope it stays together (I have done this for handles, etc). The glue will burn out but not before the glaze starts melting and holding the piece in place. Its risky and not always successful, but the piece is a loss if you don't try to fix it anyways.
              Hope this helps
              Michele NY


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            • optional
              The recipe for clay glue I believe it works for greenware and bisqueware - definitely greenware; mix equal parts vinegar and dry clay to a paste
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 4, 2008
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                The recipe for "clay glue" I believe it works for greenware and
                bisqueware - definitely greenware;
                mix equal parts vinegar and dry clay to a paste consistency, mend
                cracks and broken pieces then bisque.

                As for your description of the fabrication of the mug - not sure why
                they used vinegar at all in the first place (never heard of doing
                that) - the best method is scratch and slip - without slip the parts
                are bound to not adhere.
                Laura
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