Tips and hints for the art educator, as condensed and summarized by Danielle…

  • Don't forget the importance of art literacy in engaging the student. Reading of both words and visual symbols are imperative in introducing/reinforcing background knowledge of artists, techniques, and medium.
  • Art as expression is its own language and can be used just as effectively as written words.
  • Art literacy helps students decipher visual messages and look for context clues. These skills will ideally translate to conventional literacy and help students make inferences.
  • Be prepared to show the community, students, and other educators the authenticity of the arts as a valid area of academics.
  • Work with educators from other disciplines to find out how you can make connections across content areas and create more meaningful experiences for students and expand their learning.
  • Work with and for the community. Keeping in mind the community, you can help students form more meaningful connections with the material and text as it relates to their world. This also gives you the opportunity to display the authenticity and merit of arts.
  • Help students make connections between other cultures and their own through literacy in the arts.
  • Be aware of product versus process. While product-centered projects can show the community what the students are capable of creating visually, process-based projects help students shed their hesitation towards art and lifts the pressure to create something visually appealing. This allows students to really let go and explore!
  • Critiques can be intimidating. To ease tension and encourage participation, be open to students critiquing in groups and increasing anonymity.
  • Environment can set the tone for the class as well as add or detract from students inspiration. Keep in mind lighting, sound, and space!
  • Feedback on lessons can be very helpful. Students may have a different perception of the overall success of a lesson than you do. Try evaluations or round-table discussion to help adjust lessons effectively.
  • Exploratory projects/independent studies help in planning future lessons that spark student interest.
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