Art is the means by which cultures record, express and interpret the world. Student’s benefit when they experience art hands-on, by integrating art history, and by utilizing different techniques and materials. A sequential art curriculum with lesson plans that guide students to think globally about different perspectives can help shape the world in which we live.
Both my academic goals and professional development experiences have helped me implement my educational philosophy into my own teaching. Professional development grants received serve as examples of my commitment to art education and my career goal to continuously create art projects and implement curriculum that keeps up with critical humanitarian issues.
After receiving a grant through Bard College to attend the National Art Education Association’s National Convention on Social Justice and Art Education, my college level printmaking students created works that reflect on social justice issues. Students in this class participated in Community Day and Arts Celebrations to bring awareness to these issues through art.
Similarly, after being selected for a funded three-week China Institute Summer Study Tour called History, Culture, and Sustainable Development, I was able to explore multidisciplinary perspectives in the social sciences, and research current implications from developments through history, educational systems and environmental movements in China. I then applied this information to the curriculum at Bard High School Early College Queens. By combining photos taken from the trip, recycled objects (gathered both in China and the U.S.), written reflections from students and utilizing printmaking techniques, my class and I created artwork that comments on sustainable development from a cross-cultural perspective in a book called Capturing Footsteps and Leaving Imprints.
Other examples of art projects that reflect on critical issues include an Eco-Friendly Design Project. Through the P.S. Art Competition, students have received awards, scholarships and an opportunity to exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of NY, several years in a row. I presented more details about this Green project at the NYCATA-UFT New Perspectives Conference.
Through art and design, I encourage students to become creative problem solvers. Choice-based, sequential, and group learning situations, allow students to become critical thinkers. The use of motivational visuals, technology, demonstrations and constructive questioning is advocated in the classroom. Together with my students, we create a learning environment that accounts for child safety, special needs, differentiated-instruction, and environmental issues. Cognitive development takes place, whether students are exploring the design process, or creating a work of art.
Assessment is a vital part of the learning process. Students maintain their work in a portfolio to monitor progress. To understand the criteria and grading process, rubrics are developed and reviewed with students.