Revised Teaching Philosophy

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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DSCN0802.JPGI love teaching art. I am more comfortable in the studio classroom than in most other places.  The central tenet of my teaching philosophy is to stimulate personal learning so that students want to explore their interests and their expressive inclinations in the visual arts beyond the foundational level. Students who complete art courses should see connections between art and other disciplines and apply their knowledge in self-directed study and problem-solving (hopefully carrying those skills to other classes). I find it rewarding to help students learn how to talk about art and the ideas behind it.  I also want my students to apply their knowledge so that they comprehend different art forms rather than simply memorize their respective characteristics.  To achieve this, I use a portfolio assignment in Visual Art and the Studio (ART 001) and Introduction to Painting (ART 50) and emphasize self-evaluation and self-assessment in all my studio courses. 
 
In my classes, the art students are required to solve design and drawing problems, or actually create their own problems and create design solutions for those problems. In Design (ART 10), students work on real-life design problems that originate from different campus and community organizations. In Drawing (ART 20), I assign open-ended assignments where students investigate media and techniques to achieve their desired aims. The design of the assignments encourages students to take an active rather than a passive approach to learning.  
 
To foster this process-oriented studio atmosphere, I first expose students to basic tools, materials, and techniques. I, then, augment these traditional media with design software in the computer lab as an aid for compositional design and color theory. Specifically, the ART 10 class uses the computer lab during almost every class session. Assignments and exercises allow students to use Free Hand MX and Photoshop for their initial design ideas and final designs. I also assign real-life design problems that support needs in the local and
campus community (logos, ads, awareness posters) for Unity Week, DUI awareness and prevention, and t-shirt designs.  The studio courses have a research component as well.  In ART 50, students employ library research methods and are required to present their research in class.  The more advanced students in research topics courses must develop an online portfolio or blog (at blogger.com) and keep it up to date.  
 
I use ANGEL in all courses to provide examples of student work and to store images and designs.  Design students upload their concepts and finished designs to Drop Boxes to be used as exercises and as future visual resources. I also use ANGEL to supplement the course syllabi:  posting assignments, resources, links, grading scales, and important course documents that might become lost in a syllabus.
 
The creative component in ART 001 is a portfolio that consists of a formal analysis based on a work of art students have seen in a museum or gallery.  They define and analyze individual artists and their respective stylistic schools by completing a project that includes creative works, reviews of art exhibits, or a research paper. This allows students an opportunity to apply research skills and the fundamental knowledge they have learned throughout the course.  Students initially work as teams in collaborative learning groups in which they
research, study, and define a style of art. Besides the collaborative components, I use team-teaching so students see a definite link between writing, research, and the material that they study in Art 001.  me lecturing.jpg
  
When pushed to explain why I devote so much time to thinking about my teaching, I would have to say that I want to reconnect with the core values of my teaching philosophy and to convey those values to contemporary students.  The reward has been that my students often decide to continue their work in the visual arts by entering their work in juried exhibits, by gaining admission into BFA and graduate programs, and by sending samples of independent work to me for feedback.  All of this tells me that some of what I do to stimulate personal learning works. When students return late in the afternoon, wanting to discuss the work of
an obscure artist whose work they have seen in a library book - that's when I know why I love teaching art.


Revised Teaching Philosophy

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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

I love teaching art. I am more comfortable in the studio classroom than in most other places.  The central tenet` of my teaching philosophy is to stimulate personal learning so that students want to explore their interests and their expressive inclinations in the visual arts beyond the foundational level. Students who complete art courses should see connections between art and other disciplines and apply their knowledge in self-directed study and problem-solving (hopefully carrying those skills to other classes). I find it rewarding to help students learn how to talk about art and the ideas behind it.  I also want my students to apply their knowledge so that they comprehend different art forms rather than simply memorize their respective characteristics.  To achieve this, I use a portfolio assignment in Visual Art and the Studio (ART 001) and Introduction to Painting (ART 50) and emphasize self-evaluation and self-assessment in all my studio courses.

 

In my classes, the art students are required to solve design and drawing problems, or actually create their own problems and create design solutions for those problems. In Design (ART 10), students work on real-life design problems that originate from different campus and community organizations. In Drawing (ART 20), I assign open-ended assignments where students investigate media and techniques to achieve their desired aims. The design of the assignments encourages students to take an active rather than a passive approach to learning. 

 

To foster this process-oriented studio atmosphere, I first expose students to basic tools, materials, and techniques. I, then, augment these traditional media with design software in the computer lab as an aid for compositional design and color theory. Specifically, the ART 010 class uses the computer lab during almost every class session. Assignments and exercises allow students to use Free Hand MX and Photoshop for their initial design ideas and final designs. I also assign real-life design problems that support needs in the local and campus community (logos, ads, awareness posters) for Unity Week, DUI awareness and prevention, and t-shirt designs.  The studio courses have a research component as well.  In ART 50, students utilize library research methods and are required to present their research in class.  The more advanced students in research topics courses must develop an online portfolio or blog (at blogger.com) and keep it up to date. 

 

I use ANGEL in all courses to provide examples of student work and as to store images and designs.  Design students upload their concepts and finished designs to Drop Boxes to be used as exercises and as future visual resources. I also use ANGEL to supplement the course syllabi:  posting assignments, resources, links, grading scales, and important course documents that might become lost in a syllabus.

 

The creative component in ART 001 is a portfolio that consists of a formal analysis based on a work of art students have seen in a museum or gallery.  They define and analyze individual artists and their respective stylistic schools by completing a project that includes creative works, reviews of art exhibits, or a research paper. This allows students an opportunity to apply research skills and the fundamental knowledge they have learned throughout the course.  Students initially work as teams in collaborative learning groups where they research, study, and define a style of art. Besides the collaborative components, I have used team-teaching so students see a definite link between writing, research, and the material that they study in Art 001.

           

My students often decide to continue their work in the visual arts by entering their work in juried exhibits, by gaining admission into BFA and graduate programs, and by sending samples of independent work to me for feedback.  All of these things tell me that some of what I do to stimulate personal learning works. When students return late in the afternoon, wanting to discuss the work of an obscure artist whose work they have seen in a library book - that's when I know why I love teaching art.

Well, after a semester of reflecting on teaching, reflecting on course objectives, of finding means to assess changes to course assignments, and looking for new teaching strategies, I am going to review my syllabus for ART 10S and look toward revising the aspects that need some work...(more to come)

Reflection on Syllabus Analysis- Certificate Assignment #4  - April 2010

I decided to analyze the syllabus for my ART 10S (Visual Studies) course.  From the very beginning, the syllabus has been more comprehensive and specific than syllabi for my other classes.  This is because Visual Studies (or design) initially seemed more alien to me than drawing, painting, or even art appreciation.  The specificity of the course outline and assignments helped me to structure the course and get a cognitive and visual sense of the layout and criteria.

That being said, over the years I have made many alterations to the original course syllabus. One of the first was the adoption of a late work and attendance policy.  The addition of grading and exam policies quickly followed and of course, the required Disabilities statements, and Statement of Academic Integrity. 

While the Course Goals and Objectives sections of the ART 10S syllabus remained relatively unchanged, minor revisions appeared in these sections as well.  The Course Objectives have been revised to include specific goals that are tied to crucial course outcomes. 

Another thing that I have tried to incorporate into the course outline is a list of the materials and supplies that will be needed for the week.

Anyway, here is a link to the revised syllabus for ART 10 (see below)

art10fa10_a.doc

After a discussion with Suzanne Shaffer, about aligning course objectives with measurable goals and the course outline, I made a few more changes to the Course Objectives.
You can read the final version here:

art10fa10_revised.doc

And now, a final revision (thanks Suzanne)

art10fa10_final revision.doc




I think about teaching a lot.  I think a lot about teaching.  I don't think of this thinking as a "philosophy" - but here goes.Teaching Philosophy_Sept 11.doc This will need  a lot of re-thinking and revision, but it is a start.

self portrait.jpg TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

I am more comfortable in the classroom or studio than most other places.  I love teaching art. The central core of my teaching philosophy is to stimulate personal learning (in both content-based courses and studio courses) so that students want to explore their interests in the visual arts beyond the foundational level. I think that the instructor is responsible not only for disseminating information, but also for stimulating students' interest in art and in their expressive inclinations. Teaching art should be an arena where students can ask questions freely and engage in discussion with one another.


I want students coming from these courses to see connections between art and other disciplines. I want students to apply their knowledge by involving themselves in self-directed study and problem-solving and then carry those skills to other classes. I believe that students should be able to talk about art and the ideas behind it.  I compel students to apply their knowledge so that they comprehend different art forms rather than simply memorize their respective characteristics.  To achieve this, I have been modifying a portfolio assignment in Visual Art and the Studio (ART 001) and Introduction to Painting (ART 50) and stressing self-evaluation and self-assessment in my studio courses.

Studio art students are required to solve design and drawing problems...or actually create their own problems and create design solutions for those problems. In Art 10 (design), students work on real-life design problems that originate from different campus and community organizations. In ART 20 (drawing), I assign open-ended drawing assignments where students investigate media and techniques to achieve their desired aims. The design of the assignments encourages students to take an active rather than a passive approach to learning. 

I typically adhere to a traditional foundation approach in the studio.  I feel that students need to be exposed to basic tools, materials, and techniques. These traditional media (pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, and paint) are often augmented with design software in the computer lab as an aid for compositional design and color theory. Specifically, the ART 010 class uses the computer lab during almost every class session. Assignments and exercises allow students to use Free Hand for both their initial design ideas and final designs. In addition to design exercises, I also assign real-life design problems (logos, ads, awareness posters) for Unity Week, DUI awareness and prevention, and t-shirt designs.  However, the studio courses have a research component as well.  In ART 50 (painting) students are required to present in-class power point presentations on major artists. The more advanced students in research topics courses must develop an online portfolio or blog and keep it up to date.  I use our current course management system (ANGEL) in all courses, but I find it particularly useful for studio courses, to provide examples of student work and as a means to store images and designs.  Design students upload their concepts and finished designs to Drop Boxes to be used as both creative exercises and as future visual resources.

The creative component in ART 001 (Art Appreciation) is a portfolio. This portfolio consists of a formal analysis based on a work of art they have seen in a museum or gallery. They must assemble materials to define and analyze individual artists and their respective stylistic schools by doing a series of projects that include creative works, reviews of art exhibits, or a research paper. The purpose behind this project is to allow students an opportunity to apply the fundamental knowledge they have learned. I almost always use some sort of small group or collaborative exercise so students can define different styles and schools of art. I place students into collaborative learning groups where they work as teams to research, study, and define a style of art. Besides the collaborative components, I have used team-teaching so students see a definite link between writing, research, and the material that they study.

Seeing the completed projects is always rewarding.  When students decide to continue their work in the visual arts by entering their work accepted in a juried exhibit, by applying to and gaining admission into a BFA or graduate program, or when they send samples of their current work to me seeking feedback- that tells me that some things are working.  When students return late in the afternoon, wanting to discuss the work of an obscure artist whose work they have seen in a library book - that's when I know why I love teaching art.



Trial blog for embedding files

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This is a slide show of various figure paintings from the past.



Here is a short youtube video of Carolee Schneemann from April 20, 2008.

Implementation Project (Milestone #3) continued-

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By the end of this week (March 19), I should have more information regarding students'  use of experimental designs for their finished projects.  I decided to continue using the ideas of encouraging more up front, creative experimentation prior to handing in the finished ART 10S projects.  I got enough data from the Mid-Semester Student Feedback and from comment sheets on Assignments 4, 5, and 6 to suggest that students see value in Creative Experimentation, but there is evidence to suggest that they don't all engage in this activity or at least it seems that they don't necessarily make the best use of it.

Toward this end, I assigned them a Unity Week logo design that requires three different stages of design:  a Drop Box design component (which is graded -up to 25 points); three initial design concepts (due on March 3); three revisions of the most successful design concept (due March 15); and the final project design (due March 19).
UnityWeek_6.doc 

The work we reviewed in class today (Revised designs-due March 15) was somewhat disappointing.  Only nine of nineteen students had work to show at 8:00 a.m.  Two were unable to use the printer in the lab (103 PAC), and the other eight had nothing prepared or elected not to put it on the board.  Part of this is probably my fault...expecting that students would hit the ground running after Spring Break.  It is noteworthy that three of the better students were fully prepared with nearly finished designs, and they are practically finished with the entire project.

We will see what happens this Friday when the project is due.  The remainder of the project is to be completed outside of class. 

Here are the questions I will try to answer (courtesy of Suzanne Shaffer)
What general topics do you see in the responses? Have similar issues/topics appeared in other feedback?  Have you noticed trends over time?

Identify classroom practices that might account for the responses (e.g. isf students say they feel comfortable participating, what do you do that creates a comfortable classroom setting?)

What responses surprised you?  What are some possible explanations for these unexpected responses?

What kinds of changes could you make that would address students concerns? Identify good teaching practices that could address these areas/concerns.  What aspects of the course would you retain.

What additional feedback would you like to get from your students next time?

How do you intend to address the results with your students?

Mid-Semester Feedback Analysis- ART 10S Spring 2010/

 

Borrowing from a number of feedback instruments and adding some questions of my own, I developed a mid-semester feedback survey and distributed it to my ART 10S class on Wednesday, March 3.  All of the students enrolled in the course (19) filled out the survey.

The questions are:

 

·         The pace of this course is (check one):           ___too slow          ___too fast           ___about right

If you checked either "too fast" or "too slow," what would you like to see changed?

·         How effective do you find my use of the chalkboard, computer projector, and other classroom equipment? (Any tips would be appreciated.)

·         Do you generally feel encouraged to ask questions/contribute comments in class and critiques?___Yes ___No

If so, what has encouraged you the most? If not, what could I do to make it easier for you to participate in classroom interactions?

·         Do you generally feel that creative experimentation is encouraged within the focus of your assignments?

___Yes ___No

If so, how do experimental designs contribute to this creativity?

·         How are you using your supplies and other course materials? (Please be specific.)

·         Please comment on projects and assignments. In what ways is the feedback you receive on these during critiques helping or hindering your accomplishment of course objectives?

 

The overall results were similar to other forms of feedback from prior years; however, there are a couple surprises.  All respondents felt that the pace of the course was about right; however one student did observe "feeling rushed" to complete some projects.  Students also noted that they see me using classroom equipment effectively.  Six students made special mention of my use of the computer projector and their appreciation of examples from previous semesters.  I was surprised that they seemed to want even more examples.  I suppose that I try to limit the number of project examples for fear of holding those specific pieces up as  models of the "best way" or "only way"  to do something"- that too many examples will stifle their creativity.

 

Fifteen of the nineteen students feel encouraged to ask questions and comment in class and during critiques, and while three replied that they did not feel comfortable commenting in class, only one noted it as a negative.  That particular student felt that I, "... judged their comments and made them feel stupid" (the other two said that they never feel comfortable speaking in any class situation).  Building a good rapport with my class and creating an easygoing sense of give and take during critiques is essential to me. Most of the student respondents recognized this and made comments such as: Honest feedback is astonishing;  Likes seeing others' work and hearing comments; Everyone contributes; My opinion can be shared and not criticized; Comfortable setting, fun and interesting; Good structure and openness; Feels like they can contribute ideas.  These comments are in line with my objectives in setting up a comfortable setting for classroom discussion.  But, I will have to be more careful not to exclude or discourage the students whose perceptions of the class are different from that of the majority.

 

Every student said that they feel creative experimentation is encouraged, and they made comments such as: Helps form ideas; Yes, huge help; Helps to think of other things; Expand horizons; Be better at design; Test ideas beforehand; Help with assignments; Provides practice; Widens abilities. These are the responses I was looking for, and I suspect that the students know this.  I am not seeing their comments being born out in their performance.  Only the A and high B students are really doing the kind of creative experimentation that I am looking for. 

 

In terms of making use of the text and supplies, almost every student remarked that they are indeed using all of the required materials, however a number of them (4) said that they wanted to work more with color (which we will in the second half of the semester) and one student thought that the supplies are too expensive.   The total cost of supplies for the semester runs between $ 150 and $200 (in line with the cost of text books for many courses).

 

Finally, in commenting on feedback, projects, and assignments, the student responses were overwhelmingly positive. The responses to the question, " In what ways is the feedback you receive on these during critiques helping or hindering your accomplishment of course objectives?" was very rewarding.  Comments ranged from: Liked the Treated Text design; Liked assignment #6; Helps to improve on next assignment (3); I like the critiques, not too positive, but helps you build on next design; Helpful, esp. for beginners; Feedback provides different insights; Crits are open and well-guided; We should do more w/ color (3); Critiques and comments help to build skills; Enjoy seeing new ways to do things; Boosts confidence.

 

I plan to share and discuss the results of this survey with the class later this week, and while I plan to retain most aspects of the course, I will look closely at three items. One, add greater weight to the creative/experimental pre-design phase of projects (perhaps 10 or 15 points for this work) rather than relying on a critique alone. Two, pay closer attention to students' expressions during critiques and classroom discussions.  Make sure that I don't come off as being dismissive of any student comments, and being on the lookout for those who might feel disenfranchised in some way.  And finally, impress upon students that the supplies that they use are necessary for the course and that the costs are in line when compared with the textbook costs of other college courses.

 

In the future, I would like to get more feedback concerning exactly what kind of preparatory/ experimental work is done prior to submitting finished designs, and how that work contributes to the final design.


ART 10S Midsemester Student Feedback Analysis.doc




Implementation Project- (Milestone #3)

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Well I have developed a mid-semester questionnaire that I plan to hand out tomorrow (or today actually)
ART 10S Midsemester Student Feedback Questionnaire.doc
I will have some time over spring break to go over it and make some adjustments.

Implementation Project (Milestone #2)

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the STRATEGY-  that I want to implement is posted on my Feb. 4 post.
(To experiment with their design process and to revise their work based on sound design theory.) Specifically, I want to encourage students to engage in creative "play" and allow themselves to experiment and revise their projects without worrying about grades.

The activity will be in-class experimentation to allow for a more rapid, free-flowing of ideas for the different design projects.  This will include quick collages, work in sketchbooks, impromptu designs, and small computer-aided designs that can be further developed for the weekly course projects. 


To relate this strategy to a specific project, see this link to :
Closure_04.doc  In this project assignment, students will do independent research and write a definition for the term closure. After discussing their initial definitions and looking at examples, students will be formed into three- or four-person groups to write a collective definition of closure.  They will illustrate their definitions with examples from ads and photographs.  Afterward, the group definitions will be posted and discussed by the entire class.  Following the class discussion, students will use the PC lab and their sketchbooks to experiment with designs that emphasize closure.  At least one design will have to be uploaded to the assignment Drop Box on ANGEL for later assessment.

Rationale - Students' creative/experimental process will be reinforced by emphasizing the language of design.  The comprehension of important design terminology will give them the appropriate means to discuss and evaluate their creative work and the work of their classmates. Ultimately, they will see the connection between the language of design and the execution of design. 

What sort of data can I find by doing this?
-Well, I can begin by examining (and even photographing) the first class projects when I do not stress this preliminary play.
Following the first assigned project, I can:
  • Collect and review student sketchbooks
  • Review and grade concept studies that are submitted to the Project Drop Box
  • Ask students to discuss their creative process during critiques (sample of questions can be read at the link below)
    Closure Project questionnaire.doc 
           -did they work on preparatory, experimental designs?
           -what did they find helpful?
           -what did not work for them?
           -how did the preliminary designs inform the finished project?
  • Summarize and record the student comments.
  • Post these findings on this blog...




Student activities/ in-class design work

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In-class exercises for Assignment #3     art10_closure_Interupt03.doc

Bishoff_interuptive_web.jpg
 by Cara Bishoff for her ART 10 Interruptive Weight assignment Sp 2010Kirby_Interuptive_web.jpg
Kyla Kirby, ART 10 Interruptive Weight Sp 2010

Glatfelter_interuptive_web.jpg
Tim Glatfelter, ART 10 Interruptive Weight   SP 2010


Recent Comments

  • SUZANNE C SHAFFER: Ha!! That just means that it is time for summer read more
  • FREDERICK C HAAG: Thanks Suzanne, I did want to keep the criteria in read more
  • SUZANNE C SHAFFER: Hi Fred, I think those objectives are really streamlined now read more
  • FREDERICK C HAAG: I guess that I am ready for some comments. read more
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