Jessie Sutherland

Art Education Portfolio

 

I have been working on a lesson based on “collective behavior,” the scientific term used to describe how animals and humans interact in social groups. Karin Waskiewicz is a perfect artist to introduce for this lesson because her artwork very closely resembles the patterns seen in animal behavior, for example a school of fish or flock of birds. I found it particularly interesting that, in her artist statement, she describes how each mark she makes is a reaction to the others. Similarly, animals react to the behavior of others around them.

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The Teaching for Artistic Behavior method involves setting up centers to allow students to explore materials and create artwork independently with short group instruction/demos, allowing more time for one-on-one feedback. This method also allows students to pursue topics of interest, identify and solve problems independently, and create unique, diverse artworks. TAB does sound like a great way to implement constructivist learning strategies, but I do think it would take some time to get students used to this approach if they are accustomed to more teacher-centered instruction. When given a chance to explore on their own, some students lack the self confidence to try new things and instead opt for a safe approach they know will work. Creating a classroom environment in which students trust one another and accept failure as part of the process is essential for TAB to be effective. I’m looking forward to trying this out in my classroom!

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