I’ve been intrigued by PYP since I first heard about it a few years ago, and what I had gathered about the programmee suggested that it would fit well with my teaching philosophy. I now discover that this is truly the case because both of them are routed in inquiry based learning. My approach to teaching art is based on Teaching for Artistic Behavior, a methodology that recognizes the student as the artist, the classroom as their studio, and the teacher as the facilitator. Rather than teaching students how to make art, I teach them how to be artists. I use the artists’ habits of mind (attached) as a guide to invite the students to begin thinking and acting like artists while developing technical and creative skills. In my classroom I am but one of the many sources of information, students use their devices frequently to tap the wide knowledgebase of online tutorials and inspirational images, they also often reference each other’s skills as one student emerges as a master of a material or technique. Students move fluidly between working independently, in pairs, or in small groups depending on their interests that class period.
The physical space is a challenge in my classroom. I only teach grade 5 of the primary school (the rest of my classes are secondary) so the art classroom is primarily occupied by the teacher of grades pre-k to 4. Although I have a great relationship with the other teacher, I am not able to set the room up to my ideal since it is not my space. I have been able to put out a selection of materials. It is imperative to me and my teaching for the students to have access to and responsibility over a variety materials. Currently I have three centers open, drawing, collage, and painting. Each of these holds the respective materials for the art form and were introduced to the students so they know how to use and care for them.
The two greatest areas where I feel I am continually developing are assessment practices and classroom management. I believe that classroom management is an always developing practice that will continue to change and adjust based on the students and their rapidly changing needs (and personalities). Assessment wise, I have gained some new insight and inspiration about assessment practices from this course and hope to have those influence my current practices.
The article that we read, Identifying Inquiry in the k-5 classroom, was spot on for me. Almost every point it made I could directly relate to. It is helpful to have the vocabulary and educational speak to articulate the wonderful things that you already know are happening in your classroom. In summary, I believe in the teacher as the facilitator of the learning environment, students as the main drivers of their own inquiry learning, and everyone in the classroom actively engaged in independent investigations both as teachers and learners.
The writings and happenings of What's Going On In The Art Room, written by Ms. Alisa Blundon in Istanbul, Turkey
Guiding Students to Independence through the Artistic Thinking Process
Class Art Kits | Student Responsibility of Supples
Inspiration Around the Room
Draw Around the Room