As noted in your syllabus, the service learning experience should be considered a tool to “cement” the relationship between theory and practice, meet course objectives, and encourage student affective and cognitive growth through critical reflection. At the same time, consider that your work fulfills a critical community need.
Requirements: Your service learning portfolio is due during the final examination period.
You are free to use any website/blog platform: WordPress, Blogger, Google, Bulb, Weebly, etc. Photographs of art work and people creating art should be integrated into your portfolio.
The portfolio site should consist of the following (each heading should be a page / “art experiences section” will have four to five sub-pages):
- About. This page gives information about the class: ART325, specifically the service learning / case study experience, and the role it played in your education as a beginning teacher. Example:
During this spring semester 2016, I was enrolled in Concepts in Art Education (ART 325), and was given a syllabus at the start of the class explaining the purpose and expectations, just as any other course:
“The intent of this course is to introduce students to concepts of how artistic learning occurs in children, adolescents, and adults-including special populations. Additionally, students will investigate how these concepts shaped art education practice in the past and how it continues to influence current pedagogical practice. This class is meant to provide a foundation for later course work in art education and K-12 art teaching… Over the course of the
semester, students will be introduced to research–some of it contradictory–to understand how and why children, adolescents, and adults seek to express themselves in a visual manner. Readings and assignments will call on students to organize their thoughts and express their reactions; therefore it is paramount that students come prepared to each class. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, teaching experiences, and attend class–all of which are factors in assessing your performance and potential to be a successful art instructor.” (csuart325.wordpress.com)
-Concepts in Art Education was certainly intellectually challenging, through discussions of readings and other assignments along with Service Learning.
-In Service Learning we had the opportunity to work in the classroom setting with adults with disabilities. I had the pleasure of working alongside a group of adults, who were part of an organization called Artistic Abilities. We met each Wednesday night from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m,; beginning on February 8th and extending to March 7th. It was the responsibility of the “student teachers” to create lesson plans with each week and then reflect by the end of the week through a journal entry which was posted on the Concepts in Art Education website, allowing our classmates and professor to read about our experiences, whether they be challenging or successful.
- Setting and Context. Describe the students you worked with and the setting where your meetings occurred. Who? What? Where? When? The reader should get a good sense of the students; interests, background, age, ambitions, etc. You can briefly describe the activities engage in during the experience, but this will also be addressed later in the portfolio in more detail.
- Art Experiences. Create four to five pages (under one heading) to fully describe each experience (one meeting description per page). These images and links provide context for your description. (Essentially, these are the descriptive narrative your blog entries.)
- Plans. Include your plans in this section. They should be updated and complete.
- Journal Entries. Include your journals in this section. They should be appropriately identified and organized, typed and complete.
- Synthesis and Conclusion. This is the most important part of your portfolio. In this section you will describe what you learned through your teaching in relation to the theory examined in the course. You must make specific linkage between theory and practice or, in some cases, demonstrate how and why there was no appropriate linkage. You are encouraged to include as many research theories as is practical and useful to your specific service learning experience. Consider identifying several themes that you want to focus on and relate these themes to research; also identify how they informed your teaching. Include a bibliography. Example:
This Concepts in Art Education course, as a whole, was intellectually challenging as we continued to make critical connections between all of the curriculum this class consisted of; ranging from articles discussed in class to our personal experiences in Service Learning. In the content of our weekly Journal Entries, we were required to discuss these connections based on what we had learned in the “lecture” portion of the class. All of the readings and notes served to help us begin to create a platform for ourselves—a foundation for our futures as teachers with our own classroom. Along with the journal entries we also were required to complete Reaction Reports in response to chosen articles from a long list of documents revolving around the topic of education. There were also a few essays assigned as well. The first was an “Early Art Experience,” where we had to reflect a memory that we had when we were younger and considered it artistic. The second was in response to the Studio Art text by Marilyn Zurmuehlen, which discussed the art making process. The third was a reaction to the article “Negotiating Fit,” that included thoughts about student assessment.
In bringing all that we have learned over the course of the semester in Art Education we can break the concepts down into five basic categories: the art making process, the approach to teaching art, teaching all students/inclusive art education, and art and society. Each category consists of a series of texts and readings that help to answer questions that forms from the discussion of the five sections.
The first, “how students engage in the art making process?” can be answered through Zurmuehlen’s Studio Art, the research of Kellogg and Lowenfeld; well
as Darras and Kindler, Reggio Emilia, and lastly the article “Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Arts Education.” In this course we discovered methods of teaching for each gade level, each with their very own treatment. Beginning with elementary art, we researched the studies of Rhoda Kellogg, Victor Lowenfeld, and Darras and Kindler. Kellogg’s theories of the art making process can be listed as scribbling, six basic shapes, aggregates/combines, diagrams/design, and pictoral. Lowenfeld, similarly but not exactly the same, broke the process into disordered scribbling, controlled scribbling, named scribbling, and the preschematic stage. Darras and Kindler believe that children are biologically and culturally propelled and that art production is a blend of graphic, verbal, and kinesthetic expression.
The concept of Reggio Emilia involves the role of the environment, teachers as learner, community support, and parental involvement. In elementary art the art teacher should focus on understanding symbols and stereotypes, allowing for repetition, process over product, and the three crucial P’s: personal, pertinent, and passionate. This idea of the “three P’s” most definitely pertained to the experience of Service Learning. No matter the age of the artist/student one should always be thinking about how their artwork is personal (in order to have a connection), pertinent (to keep their attention and interest), and passionate (so they have some form of drive). There was also a strong focus on process over the product, there was no need for the students to produce professional level work. The purpose was for them to be expressive in their own way through learning various techniques and manipulations of materials.
The second question states, “how you engage in talking about art making?” which includes the articles “Responding to Student Art” and “Negotiating Fit.” When it comes to responding to your students artwork, the younger the child; the larger a need for more one-on-one time. One must also be careful when dealing with praise, students may take it as a judgment and may place emphasis on those areas the teacher praises, which diminishes the behavior of being complimented and the student learns to perform for the teachers expectations over their own personal enjoyment. A solution for a teacher would be to provide positive feedback rather than praise through descriptive statements by allowing them to reflect on their own work, asking the student questions such as, “How did you solve this problem?” It is better to make a statement of what you are simply seeing in their work so the child can explain things to you.
Interpretive responses based on feelings and memories hold more importance and significance to the child. “Negotiating Fit” ties into the realm of the middle school setting, where the students think and work independently; allowing the teachers to observe and include their interests and previous experiences and knowledge into the lesson, so that in turn the students are more involved and can relate to the project presented to them. It is crucial that as a future educator I make sure to assist my students in the future to find this ideal “fit,” and make sure that there is a certain level of freedom, that it is age appropriate, connected to their interests, and representative of their culture and others to broaden their knowledge of different practices and beliefs.
In Service Learning I attempted to demonstrate this through the examples of various cultural masks during the introduction of the plaster mask lesson. The students seemed to enjoy the diversity of the elaborate masks, especially Matt with his Tutankhamen inspiration. A challenge in Service Learning had to do with this idea of responding to student art in the way that some individuals expected a lot of assistance when it came to their work and the teachers had to work to push them to take risks and work on their own. Many of the students were also critical of their work or of their abilities and it took some encouragement to get them back on their feet.
The third, “how you approach teaching art?” relates more closely to the secondary level, specifically middle school students. An article by Doris M. Guay, “Values, Beliefs, Behaviors, and Art-making in the Middle Grades-A Teaching Story,” deals with this age level and explains that this is a time when many students choose either a path toward productivity or one that diminishes their future, and eight grade is often the most important turning point in a students life. This reading also focuses on the significance of encouragement, something that needed to be extended to almost every student in Service Learning. In order to fully comprehend the needs of each grade level a teacher has to consider the standards and PGCs/GLEs along with determining whether they want the curriculum to be teacher centered vs. student centered, or project-based vs. choice-based. TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) should also be taken into consideration, dealing with ideation leading to problem solving and executing ideas.
“How to teach all students/ inclusive art education?” is the fourth category and is where the experiences of Service Learning most appropriately and accurately fits in. Through these five class periods I learned that it is essential to understand how to most successfully be flexible towards certain accommodations, due to students who hold various and unique “abilities,” such as those students I had the pleasure of working with in Service Learning. A very entertaining book by Mark Haddon, titled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, is comprised of the narrative from the position of a young 15-year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who holds characteristics under the condition of autism or Asperger syndrome. This novel was very intriguing to me and it forced me to view the experience from the side of a brain that functions entirely differently than my own. As a future educator I know that it is very likely that I will have students similar to Christopher or to the students from Artistic Abilities. Through reading this novel and being involved in
the experience of Service Learning I have gotten a hint of the various sensitivities of personalities, and that for some touch is an issue, for others they struggle with socializing, and then others are challenged with fine or gross motor skills, etc. I must be conscious of these accommodations so that every student receives the highest level of experience as possible, regardless of their abilities.
The final statement, “the role of art education outside the classroom,” has to do with a students or individuals experiences outside of the boundaries of the classroom, and how they can be negatively or positively affected. A teacher must be sensitive to the student as a whole, it’s always a good idea to know as much as possible about them in order to connect with them on a deeper level in the realm of learning. In Concepts in Art Education we talked about how not every student has experienced certain things/activities, and if you ask them to draw or create their own rollercoaster when they haven’t personally experienced one it will be very difficult for them to simulate their own representation. A teacher must be flexible, once again, in order to reach every student and build off their interests. Not all the individuals in Service Learning were cooperating, some wanted to continue with a project as we were trying to move on to an entirely new one.
Overall, I learned an immense amount of new and very helpful information over the course of this semester. The concepts that I was informed of will forever stay with me as I make my way to becoming an art teacher. The readings, research, and experience of Service Learning worked very well together to create the connections that I have made, in order to have a strong grasp on the necessities of teaching, whether that’s dependent on grade level or abilities. I look forward to what lies ahead!
Goldbard, A. & Adams, D. New creative community: The art of cultural development. (2006), Oakland, CA: New Village.
Haddon, M. (2003), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. New York: Doubleday.
Hetland, L. et al. (2007), Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education. New York: Teachers College.
Zurmuehlen, M. (1990) Studio Art: Praxis, Symbol, Presence. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.
Portfolio Assessment Rubric can be downloaded from handout at the top of the page.