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Spotlight on art education

January 31, 2017

  • Self-portraits as archetypes from Kelsey Lemon's Grant High School students.
    Self-portraits as archetypes from Kelsey Lemon's Grant High School students.

Through February 17, original artwork created by local students under the guidance of graduate school MAT candidates will be showcased at Watzek library in the display case outside of room 343.

As part of the coursework for Art 579, Kelsey Mosely Lemon, Allison Schorr, Shelbi Schroeder, and Coren Rau each developed an art unit to teach to high school students, using a “backwards design” approach to unit planning. This method, originally articulated by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in their book, Understanding by Design (2005), challenges some traditional assumptions about curriculum planning. Instead of creating a list of topics to teach, the educator starts with the goals and works backwards. Wiggins and McTighe offer a three-stage process that we strongly support in our program: 1)identify desired results (articulate learning objectives), 2) determine acceptable evidence (create appropriate and aligned assessments), and 3) plan learning experiences (develop a series of lessons to support student success.)  In class, they looked at the new National Visual Arts Standards and discussed how they were written to incorporate Wiggins and McTighe’s concepts of big ideas and essential questions.

Each candidate used class time to present a design-based mini-lesson, an aesthetic scan, an art history lesson, and a brainstorming lesson. All the candidates also made samples of their proposed projects. They developed assessment criteria, rubrics, pre-assessments and self-evaluation activities.

The displays in Watzek library are the fruit of this effort.

“I am very proud of these teaching candidates as designers of engaging curriculum that pulls on students’ interests,” says Amy Turnbull, art education professor at the Graduate School. “We are thrilled to have a venue to display the work at Watzek library.”

Kelsey Lemon, MAT ’17: January 23 – 27

Kelsey’s students at Grant High School painted self-portraits as archetypes. They learned about Carol Pearson’s updated framework of Jungian archetypes including the Innocent, the Orphan, the Warrior, the Caregiver, the Seeker, the Destroyer, the Lover, the Creator, the Ruler, the Magician, the Sage, the Fool, and the Trickster. These archetypes appear in various forms throughout literature and culture. Students asked, “How might art support the act of personal transformation or reinvention?” They painted themselves as archetypal characters in a landscape.

Learn more from Kelsey about her students’ art and her experience with this assignment.

Allison Schorr, MAT ’17: January 27- February 3

Allison’s students at Canby High School learned contour line drawing, graphite shading techniques and colored pencil techniques in a unit on line and value. Each student designed and drew a large-scale postage stamp that included an animal associated with a country.

Learn more from Allison about her students’ art and her experience with this assignment.

Shelbi Schroeder, MAT ’17: February 3 - 10

Shelbi’s students at Southridge High School explored digital photography through the lenses of commercial art and fine art, evaluating a variety of commercial and fine art photographs to articulate how the photographer created compositions with particular points of emphasis.  Students then used Photoshop to manipulate a single photo to create one fine art image and one commercial art image.

Learn more from Shelbi about her students’ art and her experience with this assignment.

Coren Rau, MAT ’17: February 10 - 17

Coren’s students at Lincoln High School created ceramic, slab-rolled platters with a Spanish surface design technique known as Cuerda Seca. The students began the project by writing poems about their backgrounds to identify personally and culturally significant imagery, then abstracted imagery from the poems to create the surface designs for the platters.

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