Dear Teacher…

I sense there is an unease, a challenge, a difficulty but I am not overly sure if it’s just me or others are noticing it too.

It was always an issue when I taught and as a student… Art Theory.

students-at-work

Any time the Art Teacher came up with information which had to be written in Art Class the students TURNED OFF. then magically switched on again when the prac work was back in action.

So how then do educators give both the prac side and the “theory/history” side a workout in a way which suits the audience (I’m thinking secondary students mainly but leading on from there too).

Lets take a look at what happens.

Is there a better way, are Teachers doing more than JUST handing out info for students to struggle with the writing side of things? Are we causing students to be deeply engaged in learning, in Visual Art… or are we merely ‘going through the motions’ rather than searching for excellence.

Lately I have come across ‘game mechanics’ this is the science (and art) of engaging players in computer games and the various ways the developers use to get people in, to get them “addicted” to the game. (I was addicted to Pac Man as a late teen). Ibeleive it offers GREAT insights into ways we can develop things to be more engaging, to be more in depth, to provide information which students will find far more engaging in the long run.

I’m interested in what can be done to ensure students time in Art class is useful, informative, ‘fun’, engaging and generally of value. I would love to see things which were perhaps more short sharp shocks of info they can get their teeth into and move on from there.

Perhaps instead of a big sheet of ho hum text there could be small Art Cards, picture on one side, info on the other which they have to write about. What about short sharp tid-bits of info on Artists interesting factoids which get students thinking and wanting to explore further.

If you are thinking about handing out a sheet which will take a lesson or two to complete, then I HOPE you will think twice and explore a fresh approach.

Do you have ideas? Have you seen better approaches… Share in the comments below!

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