I knew I wanted to become an art educator before I had any knowledge of theorists, issues, and theories in art education. I knew I wanted to be an art educator when I was a high school student falling in love with color, line and my sketchbook. My education grew as well as my love of mediums, art history and the work of Mark Rothko, Sam Francis and Gustav Klimt. I grew to appreciate the work of artists and cultures and to recognize their impact on the contemporary. The work of Mark Rothko and Sam Francis will always hold a special part of my art education because their work taught me how a piece of work can cause a reaction in the viewer and that can be a positive or negative. That great work makes you think, appreciate, and question. In an art history class I was introduced to Rothko’s Blue and Grey, painting created in 1962 and it made me so furious to accept yet it was so peaceful to view. That is when I learned how powerful art can be. I wanted to be an art teacher to facilitate the same exploration and admiration into the arts for my students.
My philosophy of art education is constantly in flux but the basic principals remain the same. My art room is a place of self-expression and learning. In my art room patience is abundant and art making is plentiful. My students will learn to value themselves along with the artwork they create. My students will also explore the history of art and its impact on the contemporary. The artists that develop in my class will leave with an appreciation of the arts and the skills to incorporate them in their everyday lives. I believe in the sketchbook. I believe the sketchbook is an integral part of my student’s life as an artist. It is in their sketchbook that my students can explore the elements and principles of art along with mediums and artists. It is a safe place to escape when life or other subjects are feeling overwhelming. They can open the blank pages and get lost in their exploration of the arts. The sketchbook is continuously used in lessons and in assessment during the class and my students have a place to look back and see all the progress they have made throughout their journey.
Art Education is a difficult subject to define. In a literal sense art education refers to the learning, instruction and programming based upon the visual and tangible arts. Art education includes performing arts like dance, music, theater, and visual arts like drawing, painting, sculpture, and design works. Its definition is constantly changing along with the world we live in. Different media and processes in which art can be made in the classroom can broaden the curriculum taught by art educators. My definition of art education encompasses so much more. Art education is where fine motor skills are developed and creativity and problem solving strategies are practiced. Art encourages observational skills, communication and cause and effect.
Issues in art education are always evolving along with the definition of art itself. One issue in art education that is both personally and professionally significant is the lack of funding for the arts. My career is in jeopardy more often than other subjects in the educational field. The student’s art programs are in jeopardy more often than their other subjects they have in school. There are very important skills and lessons taught in the arts that aren’t prioritized during large budget decisions. Art education is so important because it is here in the art room that students can tackle issues facing themselves and the world today in another creative outlet. If a student can’t find the words to express him/herself in art maybe they can by a variety of mediums and processes. It is in my art room that together, my students and I, we can discuss and explore difficult content, issues facing society , and even issues within visual culture. Art education gives students a chance to express themselves differently than they can in their other classroom settings. A personal issue in art education that I would also say is a challenge for myself is the requirement of using formal assessment in the art room. Introducing the use of exit tickets and having students tested on their knowledge through more formal approaches rather than in-class critiques and rubrics have been a learning process. One of my strengths in art education would be lesson planning. During undergrad I had an extensive and in depth education in lesson planning. Then I got into the classroom and learned quite quickly that its great to have it on paper but you cannot account for everything and in art, such as life, it gets messy. I learned to think on my feet and to allow for variation and modification without reconstructing the entire lesson.
In art, one’s education is never complete and I look forward to gaining more knowledge on how to incorporate more art education theories realistically in my classroom. I also want to learn more about formal assessment in the art room and how it can drive my future lessons using feedback from my students. I hope to achieve these learning objectives by research, and learning more from my instructors as well as my fellow students. That is what I am looking forward to the most. Being a part of a community of art educators that can bounce ideas off each other as well as give advice from past experiences and knowledge. As a young teacher that is so valuable and I plan on taking in all this course and fellow art educators have to offer.