Monday, November 7, 2011

Transforming Traditional Teaching

With just a few days before the annual MAEA conference, many Visual Arts teachers from around Michigan are beginning to pack their bags and check off their lists full of to-do's before heading to Kalamazoo. Conferences like this are happening all over the country as a precursor to the National Art Education Association Conference in NYC his March.

Conferences give teachers the tools necessary to hone their craft and learn from other experts in their field. It is a time for collaborating, connecting, and creating new techniques and traditions that are then brought into the classroom, transforming the educational experiences provided to students.

As discussed in the previous post, if you are unable to attend this weekend's conference, the type of take-a-ways offered through the interactions offered at conferences can be sought elsewhere. We are lucky to live in a time where we can instantly connect with others to share information that directly impacts educational practice resulting in the improvement in our teaching craft and student achievement.

Something to consider as you get ready for this year's conference --  how has your teaching been transformed as a result of the interaction with colleagues and/or peers? What projects, materials, or ideas have you borrowed and reworked to give your students a new take on an old concept?

One teacher who is keen on transforming traditional teaching methods in the Visual Arts classroom is Ian Sands. This High School Art teacher from North Carolina uses his classroom as a lab for students to experiment, question, and rework what art is and how to make it. The title of his classroom blog, "Beyond the Pencil" is a challenge to students to think beyond the obvious and push themselves to use new ideas and items to explore traditional Visual Arts concepts.

Whether you are able to attend this year's conferences or not, it is a great time to rethink your practices in the classroom and transform a traditional lesson into something that pushes past the ordinary. To help get some ideas, here is the Prezi Ian has made public from his presentation at this year's Art Education Association Conference in North Carolina - thanks Ian, for sharing!

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