SP 19 Blog Post #4

Spring 2019 Annotated Bibliography

Ballengee-Morris, C. & Stuhr, P (2001). Multicultural Art and Visual Culture Education in a Changing World. Art Education, pp. 6-13.

Ballengee-Morris and Stuhr right in the beginning of their article share how the school reform movement, termed multiculturalism, requires us to think deeply about our roles as elementary, secondary, and arts teachers. Since prehistoric times, all people have had informal and, at times, formal teachers who have helped the younger generation to understand and create meanings of and for life. They share how multicultural education as well as art and visual culture’ education as a school reform, which are processes and not products. It is necessary for us, as teachers, to continually consider and question how this school reform movement can best affect our current classroom practices (Ballengee-Morris & Stuhr, 6). In this article, the authors provide consideration for a discussion of culture and cultural diversity, a brief historical perspective on multicultural education, and an example of curriculum appropriate to this reform movement. This article although written in 2001 is a great read for art educators teaching today. We, as educators, agree that it is part of our responsibility to provide for the investigation of multiple perspectives and options for living life to its fullest and that fact has not changed since 2001.

 

Collins, P. (1993). Toward a new vision: Race, class and gender as categories of analysis and connection. Race, Sex & Class, 1(1), 25-45.

Collin’s journal “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection”  dives into the immense need of new patterns of thought and action to achieve social change. She explains that we first must recognize race, class and gender as interlocking categories of analysis that together cultivate profound differences in our personal biographies. But then we must transcend those very differences by reconceptualizing race, class and gender in order to create new categories of connection (Collins 27). This journal from 1993 is still very relevant in our 2019 classrooms.

 

Crenshaw, K. Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, Volume 1989 (1), Article 8.

Kimberle Crenshaw discusses the interlocking categories of race, class and gender in her written work, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” Crenshaw goes into detail of the multidimensionality of Black women’s experience with the single-axis analysis that distorts these experiences. She writes that Black women are sometimes excluded from feminist theory and antiracist discourse because both are predicted on a discrete set of experiences that don’t accurately reflect the interaction of race and gender. “In order to include Black women, both movements must distance themselves from earlier approaches in which experiences are relevant only when they are related to certain clearly identifiable causes (for example, the oppression of Blacks is significant when based on race, of women when based on gender). The praxis of both should be centered on the life chances and life situations of people who should be cared about without regard to the source of their difficulties (Crenshaw 29).” This idea of intersectionality is prevalent in our classrooms, our school communities, and our larger macro levels.

 

Ladson-Billings, G (2004). Handbook on research on Multicultural Education. Chapter 3. New Directions in Multicultural Education: Complexities, Boundaries, and Critical Race    Theory. pp. 50-65.

Landon- Billings introduces the connection between critical multiculturalism and Critical Race Theory in the context of education.  Using the metaphor of jazz music, the chapter “New Directions in Multicultural Education” by Gloria Ladson-Billings “examines the ways current ideas about the term multicultural must give way to new expressions of human and social diversity” (p. 50).  In an attempt to reconceptualize curriculum, multicultural education has been appropriated to support the dominant culture, as in the cases of conservative multiculturalism, liberal multiculturalism, and left-liberal multiculturalism, thus pushing scholars to critical multiculturalism.  With critical multiculturalism, one must be able to recognize the manipulation of multicultural education and seek social justice. Without this reading I would not have been introduced to these theories as well as be able to identify them and give names to the ideas.

 

Sleeter, C. (2015). White Bread Weaving Cultural Past into the Present. Rotterdam: Sense.

Through the author, Sleeter, we find moments where the characters within this social fiction novel are dealing with connecting identity to larger contexts of privilege, power, and socioeconomic hierarchies. Readers accompany Jessica on a journey into her family’s past, into herself, and into the bicultural community she teaches but does not understand. Jessica, a fictional White fifth-grade teacher, is prompted to explore her family history by the unexpected discovery of a hundred-year-old letter. Simultaneously, she begins to grapple with culture and racism, principally through discussions with a Mexican American teacher. The storyline alternates between past and present, acquainting readers with German American communities in the Midwest during the late 1800s and early 1900s, portraits based on detailed historic excavation. As our course demonstrates this book can be used in teacher education, ethnic studies, and sociology courses. Beginning teachers may see their own struggles reflected in Jessica’s classroom. People of European descent might see themselves within, rather than outside, multicultural studies.

 

 

 

Spring 19 Blog Post #3

Which courses have been the most transformative to your teaching practice? Identify two courses and describe how.

Multicultural Art Education 32204

This course has pushed me farther in reevaluating my teaching practices and pushing me to choose new lessons, art works, artists to include in my curriculum. I am having my students define and evolve my curriculum more than what I had learned previously. My students are responding to the use of contemporary artists being incorporated in the curriculum and dialogue is forming about contemporary issues as well. My hope is that I am creating a safe environment that my students feel they can open discussions about issues facing them in society because they are reflecting in the art I am incorporating into the class. I feel I am also becoming a better person from this course. I am more easily picking up on inequalities and institutionalized racism that I didn’t see before because of my privilege as a white woman in art education. This course is a subject that is lifelong and not “completed” in 14 weeks.

Curriculum Planning and Assessment 7607

This course was helpful to me in my teaching because I struggle to create successful assessments in my courses. It is something that my undergrad program lacked and I was relying on my very little teaching experience to create. This course, along with gaining more and more teaching experience, have made me a better educator. I am still trying different assessment techniques but this course helped make up for what I was lacking from my undergrad studies.

Spring 2 Blog Post #2

What have you learned from your observations and reflections throughout the course of keeping this online journal?

How has the practice of critical reflection and analysis transformed your teaching?

Identify key changes in your understandings about art education. Expand on one of these changes.

 

This online journal has been helpful to me during this program because it keeps a history of readings and videos that stood out to me during past courses. If something I am currently working on sparks my memory of a past reading I can go back to my bibliographies I posted here and get the reference. Something that I didn’t plan on happening was this online blog/journal has documented my teaching journey the last 2 years. When I got accepted to Ohio State I was a year post-undergrad and full time subbing looking for a art teacher position. My first classroom environment blog post was based on my art cabin at the summer camp I was teaching at because I had yet to have my own classroom. That July I got hired as a part time art teacher at my first district and my first observation post was completed by my chairperson/co-worker who now I consider to be a life long friend and mentor of mine. Last March I found out my position was being cut at the school and I had to apply again and look for a new district. This past year my blog posts have been about now my new classroom since being hired (finally) full time at a district I love and see myself being here for the long haul. It has been a time capsule of my growth and experiences getting to this point.

I believe this practice of critical reflection and analysis has positively transformed my teaching. I have mentioned previously that my research has pushed me to become a more reflective teacher. I am constantly asking students for feedback and then using that feedback to plan our next lessons and curriculum. I believe that this process has also pushed me to include much more student choice than in my classes last year. I think it’s a combination of this practice and also becoming more confident in my teaching. My understanding of art education from being in undergraduate school to becoming a full time teacher has been night and day. One key change is what I mentioned previously about the addition of student choice in my curriculum.I now have hands on experience and I am learning what works and what doesn’t work for my specific classes. I have learned this past year that you have to evolve and adjust your teaching strategies and methods to fit each of your classes and students and there isn’t a “right” way to teach. How you teach is different for each student. I have taken what I learned about art education and used it to inform my teaching but then adapted to my current students. I have seen first hand how much more engaged my students are in what they are learning when they get a say in what they are creating. I have found through this I also form connections easier with my students because I learn more about them through their artistic choices and it sparks more conversation between us. I am going to continue to nurture this process as I have more years teaching but I like how it is evolving.

 

Spring 2 Blog Post #1

Updated Classroom Environment 2019

Since writing my first classroom environment post in July 2017 I have had two more classroom settings. My classroom I have now is where I hope to spend my career.

The high school I teach at is an urban setting 20 minutes outside of New York City. The student body is approximately 3,000 students.  I teach high school art to students in grades 9-12. All of my courses are mixed grades and I teach painting, fashion and ceramics. My schedule is five classes a day with one study hall duty and two prep periods. The school has a 8 period a day schedule with 45 minute periods daily. Currently this semester I have one of each of my courses. painting 1 and painting 2, fashion 1 and fashion 2, and intro to ceramics. Students are in class from 7:40am to 2:35pm.

My classroom is a very long rectangle with cabinets lining two of the four walls. Two of the walls with the cabinets have a counter top that runs around half the classroom. The counters have light boxes along the perimeter of the room. I have two sinks in the classroom, one for ceramics and one for painting. One of the walls of my room is all windows out into a courtyard and the other wall is windows connecting to the hallway. I have a closet that leads to a storage room and my kiln. My desk is towards the front shorter side of the rectangle as well as my smart board. I have 10 tables that two weeks ago I decided to change up the layout of my room. I now have 5 sets of tables with two tables pushed together in each set. I have 6 students at each table set. I can hold 24 students per class with this layout. I decided to change the layout of my room after the first half of the year because I felt my room was too long and not everyone had equal viewing access to the board. Also, there were some students last semester that by the end of the course couldn’t tell me each other’s names so I wanted larger groups of students to lend itself to more conversation. My research pushed me to make these changes as I was recording class critiques and listening to relationships being formed from september to january. I am curious to see if now with different seating layouts how that affects the evolution of critiques from now january to june.

In the back of the room I have a demo table as well as a large paper cutter and 4 standing mannequins for fashion. Along the side of the windows I have shelving for storing student work. This is my first year in this room and the shelving is something I want to change over time. I don’t think it suits the needs of all 120 students I teach per semester. I am SO happy with my job and students and I look forward to having a long and ever changing career in this room. It was a long road to get here after graduating undergrad, being a fulltime substitute for a year, then last year being a part time art teacher in another district and still subbing in my first district and then having my part time position cut. This job is a dream come true and I am so blessed to be a full time teacher in this district.

 

Fall 2 Blog Post #3

Melissa Akey

Fall 2018

Blog Post #3

 

My research has been a mixture of different methodologies that I have been introduced to throughout our course. Early in the semester I read about the social research methodology of ethnography. Ethnography is the study of culture, which in my case, I connected to the study of my classroom culture. This research approach requires participant observation, interviewing, field notes, audio/visual documentation as well as artifact collection and archival study. “Ethnographers usually begin their study with pre-fieldwork motivated by the selection of a problem or curiosity toward some aspect of the lives of the people they wish to study (Beach,2005; Delamont, 2008; Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007).” This type of research requires the prolonged engagement in everyday contexts to gain a deep understanding of the culture that you wish to study. At the conclusion of my research I will have studied the culture of my painting class from September- January everyday for 40 minutes a day. What makes this methodology unique is the semester long study of the same group of people. It is a holistic and intensive study of people and culture. “Ethnographic research allows teachers to examine the practices, problems, and policies of art education in a holistic and complex way as they exist in the real world (p. 143).” This methodology also lends itself to meaningful, direct, benefits for the people, class, and schools being studied. My hope is that through this methodology I will develop a deeper understanding of my student’s needs, wants, and feelings about their art and art education.

Another methodology that my research uses is the Narrative and Autobiographical research method. I was drawn to this methodology when reading the quote  “I use narrative inquiry to remember and revision experience, and to study the complexities of classroom life from multiple experiences (p. 222).” This is what I wish to do with my research, learn about the benefit of the use of critique from a multitude of perspectives. Narrative research is a qualitative research methodology that focuses on stories of experiences such as those of my students. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) explain how personal and social experiences in continuum are central to narrative inquiry. The data collection in narrative research works through artifacts, photos and other art based methods to engage in telling personal narratives. In my own research my student’s critiques on each others art as well as stories and thoughts about their own artistic choices are my collection of narrative works. I collect these artifacts by conducting interviews as well as observation and note taking during class critiques.  

To supplement my current research I am going to continue to record the audio from my painting classes until january when the class ends to listen for trends in responses as well as study how their word choice and vocabulary evolves over time. I will also continue to conduct interviews during the critiques on student opinion. I will take note of their opinion of critique and how the use of student choice affects the outcome of the critiques. After I collect all my ongoing data when my class comes to a close in january I will have collected a completed course of data from start to finish.

After the completion of my research I will use the evidence which I have found and supplement with the journals and other research I have accumulated during our course. I will then start writing my research paper.

Fall 2 Blog Post #2

This fall I have spent the last few weeks at a loss for a research topic. I felt as still being a new teacher, going into my second year of teaching I was interested in everything! How could I choose a research topic when really i’m just still trying to learn everything and feel my head above the water. I also started a new district this year and tomorrow will only be my 5th day of the year. Then while writing my role of a researcher paper it hit me. The one thing I focus on in all my classes across the board is the use of class critiques. I feel like I have talked about them at length this course and I feel they are just so beneficial for my students and important. So now i’m thinking, maybe my research should be on the use of critiques in high school level courses.

  1. How can art educators at the secondary level use critiques as assessment rather than rubrics and other forms of written assessment?
  2. How can I measure the success of the use of critique with my students?
  3. How can I prove and document the progression of my students during critiques to my department head and administration?

How have you addressed these issues/questions? How could you address these issues and questions? How are the courses so far affecting your classroom practice?

I have been incorporating the use of critique in my teaching methods and units at the high school level all year last year and I already laid the groundwork for my courses this year to start beginning them probably in a week or two for their first projects. I am still thinking about my research questions and how I am going to address them. My classroom practice is being affected because I am constantly giving my students opportunities to talk about their work and use the specific vocabulary casually with each other while working so that when we come together for a critique in a week or two they are comfortable with the terms and talking to one another. I could document my findings by taking notes during the critiques. I want to look into if legally it would be an issue to voice record our class critiques as well as possibility video taping them as well.

 

Fall 2: Blog Post #1

Baglieri, S., Valle, J. Connor, D. & Gallagher, D. (2011). Disability studies in education: The need for a plurality of perspectives on disability. Remedial and Special Education, 32(4), 267-278.

This reading focused on education’s need for perspectives on disability to be fluid and evolving. The article resonated with me because when I think of my classroom and my students with special needs, none of them are the same. Even if two students of mine are diagnosed with the same disability, they never behave exactly the same way nor should be expectations or teaching be the same for both. “In the process, they asserted that the medical model’s objectivist depiction of disability was neither as straightforward nor as sufficient as it appeared (Taylor, 2006).” Disability was defined by different individuals ideas. “It is not that people do not vary or differ from one another in sometimes very noticeable ways, but to call or think of some of those differences as “disabilities” is to make a social judgment, not a neutral or value-free observation. Put differently, it is not the way in which people vary or the differences they have in comparison to others but what we make of those differences that matters.” The social model of disability deals with the society attitudes towards diversity. It includes how we understand the ways that race, class, gender, language, culture, and sexual orientation shape the experience of disability. Also the time period in which disability is being discussed and modeled affects how society views a disability. What is considered “normal” in that time period based on social and cultural norms.

 

Universal Design For Learning: Theory and Practice, Chapter 3: “The Variability for Learning” pp. 49-82

This chapter discussed how the Universal Design for Learning theory changed from individual differences to individual variably after discovering that the original theory was limiting. Again, in education theories and strategies are always evolving just as the needs of our students are also always in flux. It was discussed that because of large class sizes and the multitude of different needs the extensive analysis required for each student may not be possible. Another limitation of individual differences compared to individual variably is the subtle hints to the old medical model of disability. Using the terms and ideas of “typical” and “atypical” which is so subjective. Like “typical” compared to what? And in what time period? Individual-context interactions evolved from individual interactions because studies began to show what we knew, that students are not immune to their environment and context around them. What happens around them also effects themselves. It connects to the idea of “epigenetics” which is the the study of the very strong effects of the environment on gene expression.  Cognition and affect had always been thought of as two separate entities, affect being the “why” of learning. The feelings, values and emotions that can influence attitudes towards learning. Cognitive scientists are addressing feelings and emotion, motivation and behavior, and they are now coming to realize that emotion organizes, drives, amplifies, and attenuates students’ thinking and reasoning.

Universal Design For Learning: Theory and Practice, Chapter 4: “Universal Design for Learning” pp. 83-108

Universal Design for Learning presents three teaching strategies (Provide multiples means of engagement, provide multiple means of representation and provide multiple means of action and expression) based on the three networks for learning (affective, recognition, and strategic). In the art room there are possibilities to include the strategies included in the Universal Design for Learning.  With engagement it is important to design learning contexts that offer flexibility so that each student can find a way into the learning experience, remain persistent in the face of challenge or failure, and continue to build self-knowledge. Students need to have options for self regulation, where they can develop self assessment and reflection. Students will build personal coping skills and strategies. In my art room I try to incorporate lessons that can be taken by students and given an individual spin. I give them the umbrella idea or topic and they can use materials they decide or a subject matter of choice. “Learners’ ability to perceive, interpret, and understand information is dependent upon the media and methods through which it is presented.For learning environments to support varied learners in all of these recognition processes, three broad kinds of options for representation are needed: options for perception; options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols; and options for comprehension (p. 54).” To promote resourceful, knowledgeable learners we have to provide options for comprehension. We do this by activating background knowledge and highlight patterns, big ideas and relationships. In my art room I demo so my students can see an example infront of them but then I also have the information given verbally as well as having step by step instruction up on the board if anyone ever loses track of where they are in the project. Expert learners need to be able set appropriate goals and monitor their progress towards those goals. This involves setting a goal at an appropriate level of difficulty and being flexible with strategies (trying a different approach when one method is not working).These skills develop as learners mature in age as well as in skill level with a particular discipline or subject (p.98).” To achieve this as teachers we need to provide options for executive functions such as guiding appropriate goal setting, support planning development, and enhance capacity for monitoring progress. Art courses have the ability to provide options for expression and communication all the time. In art we use multiple media options for communication as well as the multiple use of tools. Art also provides options for physical action such as giving lots of access to assistive technology around the art room.

 

Universal Design For Learning: Theory and Practice, Chapter 6: “Designing for All: What is a UDL Curriculum?” pp. 127-156

In chapter 6 the authors discuss the difference of summative and formative assessments. The authors feel well-crafted, thoughtful summative assessments can be important but only when used in conjunction with an array of other types of assessments designed to improve both teaching and learning. Formative assessment tends to be more immediate and informative to instruction than summative assessment because it offers the opportunity to improve teaching and learning during the course of instruction. The UDL model favors formative assessments that are planned and intentionally part of instruction — assessment by design, in other words. Where students seem to be falling down, the first place to look is to the curriculum. Formative assessment gives teachers a concrete and visible means of getting the data they need to inform their instructional decision-making. I have mentioned previously in my responses that at my current school they don’t require us to use rubrics to grade our students. This past year I have been using in-class critiques to grade my high school students. I have them about 2-3 times a project. We put all the art in the center of a table and I prompt “questions/comments/concerns” about each piece of work we put up and students discuss the work using the specific vocabulary from the lesson. I believe it is very important for my students to learn how to talk about their art, how to have different views from someone else and still discuss, how to give and take constructive criticism, and how to put their thoughts about what they created into words. I’m able to grade their work, their use of vocabulary and their collaboration with other students during the critique.

 

Art and Disability, Chapter 5, Emotional Disturbance and Behavioral Disorders

Chapter 5 does a great job of explaining emotional disturbance and behavioral disorders and how they manifest themselves in your classrooms. Some challenges that individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders face are hyperactivity such as short attention span and impulsivity. Aggression or self injurious behavior such as acting out or fighting. Withdrawal, which can be not interacting socially with others or excessive fear and anxiety. Immaturity is also a challenge for individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders. This can be seen with crying, temper tantrums and poor coping skills. Sometimes students will also have excessive anxiety and abnormal mood swings. One strength that comes from emotional and behavioral disorders is creativity. This year I made a poster to hang in my room that reads “The best use of imagination is creativity, the worst use of imagination is anxiety.” There are some days that I read that poster 10x a day even for myself. A mind that is never at rest is always forming new ideas and concepts its just how you channel that energy to be constructive. This chapter wasn’t the same as other chapters with outlining both challenges AND strengths. I re-read pages thinking I was missing something. I was stuck on reading about the young african american males and the number of them labeled E/BD by their white female teachers. I wanted to read more about this and the weight of the cultural differences and the ethical questions they pose. It took over my mind for the chapter and I felt it could be an entire book itself.

 

Verbal to Visual. (2015, October 29). Curriculum Design Part 3: Producing The Material. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/mljZhTaq-mo

Doug Neill walks through his planning steps for preparing a series of lessons on note taking. He lays out outcomes and their context and then works his way to teaching the activities. Beginning with what he terms “The High-Level Planning,” he looks at the big picture the reasons for this, the students (or audience) to design an overall rationale for the course, including a survey to find out what the students know or need to know. In the second video, Neill lays out a strategy in the form of a sequence, for brainstorming and sorting bits of knowledge. In the third video he actually creates the course materials by organizing all the bits of knowledge in video 2, while keeping in mind the “big picture” of the first video. The fourth video describes a reflective exercise, in which Neill thinks back on the course activities and makes adjustments and improvements for the next time through. Backward design is a way of planning with a desired outcome in mind. After watching the videos I considered what part of my classroom I could change to incorporate and apply the three steps of backward design. After watching the video series I created a clothesline diagram that I refer to when sharing how I would use backwards design when teaching coil pots in Intro To Ceramics.  

Spring ’18 Blog Post #3

Spring 2018- Annotated Bibliography

 

Michael Ray Charles in Consumption. (2001, September 28). Retrieved April 25, 2018, from https://art21.org/watch/art-in-the-twenty-first-century/s1/michael-ray-charles-in-consumption-segment/

Michael Ray Charles shared in the Art 21 episode details and examples of his work as well as the major idea and themes that are reflected. Michael Ray Charles spoke about how some people view his work negatively and that he is perpetuating a stereotype of black face and other negative representations of African Americans. Michael Ray Charles wants his work to acknowledge the presence of this in the past. He talks about how history tried to cover it up and not acknowledge that this existed in United States advertising. He mentions the use of black face and other negative stereotypes in early advertising as a way to “reminisce” about the Deep South. How also in toys it can be seen. How Tarzan is seen as this positive, round edge, blue eyed figure yet the enemy is this black figure that is animalistic and rough edged and negative. It implies at a subconscious level that “black is bad”. Michael Ray Charles asks the question “what were we emancipated from?” He wants his work to evoke thought in the viewers and make people ask questions. He wants his viewers not to shy away from the past but acknowledge and not continue the same wrong doings.

 

Darts, D. (2011). “Invisible culture: Taking art education to the streets” Art Education, 49-53.

Darts discusses how he had to employ different strategies to make his student-driven approach to curriculum and assessment successful. He wanted to address the evolving realities of living in a rapidly transforming and globalizing world. He made his classes so that students were personally invested in the topics being taught. To make this approach successful he made sure there was framework that outlined the expectations and responsibilities of students. Darts strategies made for a very successful curriculum and assessment that was student driven.

 

Mitchell, W.J.T. (2002). “Showing seeing: A critique of visual culture” In Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey (Eds.), Art History, Aesthetics, Visual Studies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 231-249.

Visual culture aims to “overcome the veil of familiarity and self evidence that surrounds the experience of seeing, and to turn into a problem for analysis, a mystery to be unraveled (Mitchell 231).” The question is raised in the reading “Can visual studies be an emergent field, a discipline, a coherent domain of research, even an academic department? Should art history fold its tent and, in a new alliance with aesthetics and media studies, aim to build a larger edifice around the concept of visual culture? (Mitchell 234).” He formed a list of eight counter-theses of what visual culture is. This is where my understanding of visual culture was solidified. “3. Visual culture is not limited to the study of images or media, but extends to everyday practices of seeing and showing, especially those that we take to be immediate or unmediated. It is less concerned with the meaning of images than with their lives and loves (Mitchell 237).” Also, “there are no visual media. All media are mixed media, with varying ratios of senses and sign types (Mitchell 237).”

 

Van Laar, T. and Diepeveen, L. (1998). Chapter 3. Active sights: Art as social interaction. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co. (p. 51-69).

In the reading Van Laar and Diepeveen describe how artists are assumed into five social roles. They explained the myths and the exaggerations that went along with the roles. The roles are the artist as skilled worker, the artist as intellectual, the artist as entrepreneur, the artist as social critic and the artist as social healer. In 2018 it can be argued that art teachers today take on bits and pieces of all five social roles discussed by the authors. There are excerpts of this reading that I believe can be relatable to each and every art teacher, thier classroom and their students.

 

Wiggins (1998) “Promoting Student Understanding” Chapter 4, Educative Assessment, Assessment in Art Education, Chapters 1

The first chapter in Assessment in Art Education provides an introduction to assessment and the book. In Wiggins discusses the difference between knowledge and understanding. “Understanding is arguably the intellectual achievement we are poorest at improving- and not coincidentally, the achievement we have the most difficulty assessing ( Wiggins 72).” Understanding is central to all other achievements. Without understanding our thinking is constrained, habit bound, and borrowed. “Understanding revolves around rethinking- reflecting upon, reconsidering, and perhaps fundamentally revising the meaning of what we have already learned and what we believe to be knowledge or adequate account (Wiggins 85).”

Spring ’18 Blog Post #2

Ai Wei Wei “Sunflower Seeds”

Ai Weiwei was born in Beijing, China in 1957. Ai Wei Wei infuses his sculptures, photographs, and public artworks with political conviction and personal poetry, often making use of recognizable and historic Chinese art forms in critical examinations of a host of contemporary Chinese political and social issues. In his sculptural works he often uses reclaimed materials—ancient pottery and wood from destroyed temples—in a conceptual gesture that connects tradition with contemporary social concerns. He also employs sarcasm, juxtaposition, and repetition to reinvigorate the potency and symbolism of traditional images and to reframe the familiar with minimal means. He is also one of the earliest conceptual artists to use social media – Instagram and Twitter, in particular – as one of his primary media.

In October 2010 he unveiled his commission for the Unilever Series at Tate Modern. The work consisted of millions of porcelain seeds made in the workshops of Jingdezhen, a town once famous for its porcelain and now struggling to find its place in the modern world. Ai Weiwei shows what can be done to help communities like Jingdezhen through art. Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.

 

  1. How does Ai Wei Wei critically examine contemporary Chinese issues though the use of his chosen materials?
  2. Ai Wei Wei incorporates symbolism of traditional Chinese images in his work reframed though minimal means. What is an example of this in his work?
  3. What is the significance of the use of Porcelain in “Sunflower Seeds”?

 

Ursula von Rydingsvard “Luba”

Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in Deensen, Germany, in 1942. She received a BA and an MA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables (1965), an MFA from Columbia University (1975), and an honorary doctorate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (1991). Von Rydingsvard has described her background as influential within her practice. Born to Polish and Ukrainian peasant farmers, her early childhood was marked by the strain of living in eight different refugee camps over the course of five years in postwar Germany. She immigrated with her family to the United States when she was still a small child. In form, process, and meaning, she sees her work as responsive to eastern European peasant traditions (Stormking.org).

 

Ursula von Rydingsvard’s primary material used in constructing Luba is four-by-four lengths of cedar wood, a material that, as the artist has said, “it seems to be I’m able to speak through.” Von Rydingsvard stacks, glues, and cuts into these beams freehand with a circular saw—an intuitive process that the artist has likened to the freedom and creativity that many artists associate with the process of drawing. Luba is the first work on a large scale that von Rydingsvard created in solid cedar.  On one side of the main form of Luba, a delicate appendage extends down to the ground; von Rydingsvard has said that it is intended to resemble the arm of a mother cradling a baby. The lower portion of this arm, supporting its spindly reach, is made of bronze and marks the first time von Rydingsvard has combined bronze and cedar into a single work. Highlighting the handiwork and a physical, tangible connection to her sculpture, von Rydingsvard then rubbed graphite into areas of the surface of Luba, emphasizing the shadow and depth of the circular saw’s cuts. I have seen this work in person a number of times at Storm King and when you get close to the sculpture you begin to smell “pencils” which is the use of the graphite in the work.

 

  1. What is Ursula von Rydingsvard’s process when creating “Luba”?
  2. How does Ursula von Rydingsvard’s childhood influence her practice?
  3. Why does Ursula von Rydingsvard incorporate the use of graphite in her large sculptures?

 

Minerva Cuevas “Feast and Famine”

 

Minerva Cuevas was born in Mexico City in 1975. She’s a conceptual and socially-engaged artist who creates sculptural installations and paintings in response to politically-charged events, such as the tension between world starvation and capitalistic excess. Several of the artist’s works take the form of re-branding campaigns—exhibited as murals and product designs—that question the role corporations play in food production, the management of natural resources, fair labor practices, and evolving forms of neo-colonialism.

From early inquiries into the use of cacao as currency in the pre-hispanic era, Cuevas began to investigate the cultivation of cacao in present-day Mexico, as well as the surrounding conflicts and commercial interests through Feast and Famine. Among the pieces produced for this exhibition are 500 chocolate ears, made especially from a crop of native cacao, Grano Real Xoconusco. Cultivated in the state of Chiapas, the majority of this cacao as well as the cacao produced in other parts of the country is exported for consumption across Europe. This piece functions as the nexus of various investigations that Cuevas has carried out in recent years. Conceived as a playful essay, Feast and Famine is an interdisciplinary project combining different aspects of anthropology, product design and economics.

  1. What roles are questioned through the re-branding campaigns exhibited through the murals and product designs?
  2. Why do you believe the artist incorporates the use of major chocolate brands in her exhibition?
  3. How is Feast and Famine considered an interdisciplinary project?

Spring ’18 Blog Post #1

OBSERVATION
DATE: 2/14/18
TIME: 2:02-2:42pm
CLASS:Painting I
LESSON: 4 Corner Painting Techniques
TEACHER: Melissa Akey
OBSERVER: Jim Maron, Department Chair 

This week I had my department chairperson, Jim, observe me on wednesday afternoon (2/14/18). Our schedule allowed for him to have some time to come into my painting class for about the first fifteen minutes of my forty minute class. Wednesday I had a split class of some of my students ready for the next project and a portion of my students still finishing up the previous project. This is the third week of this course so the project I was introducing is an introduction to a handful of different painting techniques. The students divide their canvas into 4 equal rectangular sections, then draw four circles within each section. My students then have to use four different techniques to fill the canvas. A grayscale section, an expressive impasto section, a wash section, and a pointillism section. In addition to the different painting techniques my students have to consider form and light.

The class started out with getting everyone situated with the materials they needed, my students who needed to finish the previous project and then I got all the students sitting together who needed to start the new project. Jim sat off to the side behind me. After class we sat down to go over what he observed. One of his observations was he wrote “super advanced- review”. He explained that I told the students that once they get the basics down we will move on to portraits and landscapes and more advanced paintings and he said I may have scared off some of my students that were hesitant or nervous to start painting.This is something that I could work on and breaking up lessons into smaller pieces and not explain the entire timeline all at once. He also wrote that since I had two projects happening at once I kept getting interrupted by my students that were working on the previous project and my students that were listening to my demo were waiting around for me to come back. I find this one hard to find a solution to when in a large class there are always students at different work speeds that will need help all at the same time but with different aspects of the lessons.

Another comment he made was he asked if “I forgot to take attendance” because he didn’t see me go up to the computer to take it. I explained that I take attendance on my ipad quickly so I don’t lose time signing into the computer and having to go to my desk rather than just being able to do it in a minute in my hand on my ipad while still working with my students at the tables. This is something that is working for me and I will continue to do. Today (friday) was the last day before a week break off of school so when I get back to school I will scan the documents from Jim onto my blog post because I forgot them in my desk at work. Also when I get back to school I will have another chance to edit my demo with the rest of the students who had now finished our previous project and are now ready to start the painting techniques one.

I will update on 2/26/18 when I get back to school after February break.