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Curriculum [Question]

Problem Based Learning in Art

Started on Aug 28, 2012 by Jenncook678
Last post on Jan 14, 2013

I'm really interested to hear if anyone is using "Problem Based Learning" in the art room? I'd like to incorporate it into my grade 12 class, but I'm at a loss for where to start. There is more information on Wikipedia, if you're interested. Thanks.

3 Keeps, 1 Likes, 7 Comments

  • jfrisco 08/30/2012 at 08:06pm
    Have you looked into the TAB philosophy (Choice Based Art Education)? This sounds somewhat similar to me. I integrate both Discipline Based and Choice Based in my elementary art room. It is a tough divide. I'm not sold on either philosophy, and continually strive to merge the two in a meaningful way for my students.

  • Jenncook678 09/01/2012 at 08:58am
    I have not used these methods yet.
    I always try to give the students choice in what they are doing, but I struggle with empowering them to try new things and make mistakes.
    How exactly does a choice based art room work? And a discipline based one as well? I have not heard of discipline based art!
    Jfrisco, how do you integrate these two philosophies?
    Thanks for giving me something to really think about.

  • AmyHall 09/02/2012 at 10:51am
    I did TAB for 10 classes with 5th - 8th last year, just to try it out. I loved it, however would not want to do it for the whole year. I had 6 centers and allowed the kids to move between them freely and keep daily notes that were graded. I found that they were always busy and happily working on new things. I wouldn't want to do it the whole year however because I'd like more structure at times to do group projects.

  • jfrisco 09/02/2012 at 11:25am
    My Procedures Prezi will give you an idea "how" I am trying to do this. It is always a work in progress.

    Check out my webpage for a more in depth look at my unit breakdown if you'd like to see the Discipline Based units I use before breaking out into Choice Based.

    Check out some forums on TAB (Choice Based Art). It would look different for secondary level, although advocates strongly feel that it is valuable at ALL levels... especially in the push for 21st Century learners.

    This is what typed up and sent to my principal when she arrived to our school. I wanted to explain my philosophy...

    "There are a couple of different philosophical approaches in art education...

    Discipline-based art education is where the teacher guides students through Art Production, Art History, Art Criticism, and Aesthetics. This is a very traditional method.

    Choice-based art education regards students as artists and offers students real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through art making. TAB-CHOICE is a phrase that has emerged on various art education forums, as teachers connect the concept (choice) with the organization (TAB).

    I value the philosophy and benefits of both methods, so I attempt to strike a delicate balance between the two of them. I like to think that I most often use choice based art education that is "anchored" in the philosophies of discipline based art education.

    I feel is an appropriate avenue for self discovery and expression in students. I find that it tends to reach those students who normally struggle academically and/or socially, as well as SPED students. It teaches students to make choices in regards to positive expression. It provides the means for students to have control over medium, subject matter and approach. Direct, indirect, whole and small group and one on one instruction is used. Students then become coaches for other students. I find this to be a very valuable resource. Students build much confidence and self esteem. Most choice-based art programs offer separate media centers, such as painting, clay, printmaking, etc. These centers function as mini art studios, complete with instructional information, menus, resources, materials and tools. Students move independently between centers, utilizing materials, tools and resources as needed in their art making. Centers are arranged to provide students with independent learning opportunities. Students work at their own pace, within reason of course. Students are always creatively productive through their own motivation. Self-assessment occurs on a regular basis, both informally and with self-reflection in the form of art critiques, both verbal and written. This is a "student centered" approach.
    Although I am embracing both philosophical views, and implementing them as I see appropriate for the students I work with, I am a lifelong learner. I do extensive research for best practice, and would LOVE to observe whenever possible in order to grow as a professional."

  • Jenncook678 09/02/2012 at 11:48am
    Wow, this is quite the detailed comment! Thank you!
    I actually did some research on both disciplin and choice based art this morning and I really liked what I read about them both, but choice based art stood out to me the most.
    In a way I guess it goes hand in hand with problem based learning where you give students a real world problem and they solve it using any media or techniques they like. For instance you could ask students to design a new playground for the school. You might get some 3D models, some detailed sachet he's, you might even get the odd essay. But I don't know of you could do this for all the projects. I think choice based art is the long term solution to the kind of art room I want, with some problem based centers thrown in the mix.
    I'll need to read a little more on the discipline based philosophy. My weakness has always been art history and I am still striving to incorporate it into my daily lessons, I feel that it enriches the projects, but I just prefer the "doing" part of art so much more. Again, that's probably another reason Choice based art seems so great to me!

    Thanks for the awesome replies.

  • jfrisco 09/02/2012 at 12:03pm
    Absolutely! I love this forum. I really am inspired by the ideas of other Art Teachers out there. I feel like I have some other people out there on my "island".

  • RuthByrne 01/14/2013 at 12:35pm
    I'm going in to a PDP review soon and I've been looking for ways to explain current best practices in the art room, this is super helpful! Thanks jfrisco!