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Best Practice [Conversation]

To show or NOT to show?

Started on Sep 03, 2012 by jfrisco
Last post on Feb 18, 2013

Is it best to show an example of an art project? Is it too leading? Does it stifle the creative spirit of the student artist?

2 Keeps, 0 Likes, 7 Comments

  • ArtKat0508 09/03/2012 at 02:39pm
    It is best to show multiple examples of an art project to lead into many directions. Creativity isn't doing whatever you want whenever you want to but being able to take the directions that you have been given and manipulate them into something new. It is connecting unrelated ideas. It can never hurt to show as many visual examples as possible.

  • terusnak 09/04/2012 at 12:47pm
    I agree with the above comment. Examples give students a starting point from which to build... and if the examples are outstanding, they will inspire your students rather than stifle them. (Think of what it's like to see a great work of art in a gallery/museum... I am usually juiced up creatively when I see what others are doing/making).

  • jfrisco 09/05/2012 at 03:50pm
    What has fueled this question for years is something I read a long time ago by an art educator named Marvin Bartel. I admire his philosophy about art education. Feel free to read his Ten Classroom Creativity Killers. #5 has to do with showing examples to students.

    I want to know what others feel about this subject. :)

  • imagiNATION 09/06/2012 at 09:29am
    I almost always show how to get started but usually don't show the final product. That way students have a starting point and can also use their creativity to finish the project within their own creative capacity. I think sometimes kids get hung up on the finished product if they see a "perfect" teacher example. I very much agree with ArtKat on the creativity point. Sometimes kiddos need guidelines to hone their motor and problem solving skills. As for practical application, as most things go, I think it is all about balance. On projects with a more specific direction show a more specific example. For projects that are more open ended and geared toward full-on creativity give guidelines and skip the final product.

  • AmyHall 09/26/2012 at 03:47pm
    I show unfinished as well as finished examples of various "good-ness". I model what we are working on, so the kids see the progress I am making. My younger kids(kinder - 2nd) usually need a bit more of a solid idea of what we are working on to motivate them to work hard... my older kids (middle school) usually need just a little to get them started and running with an idea.

  • fakemidnight 02/08/2013 at 06:54am
    In my district as well as during my education, we were encouraged to write lessons that have many answers. I find that many times showing an example hinders this. But this is sometimes difficult to avoid. What works in some cases is showing the example briefly and then put it away.

  • Thoch626 02/18/2013 at 01:50pm
    I too am torn because I always have several students who copy my example, even my unfinished ones. At the same time, many students need to see a visual to understand the concepts/ lesson and my admin looks for exemplar examples when observing me. I have been trying to show different examples to show different views, interpretations and personal thoughts and ideas going into their work. I like to show off the students in progress work to the class, it clarifies things that maybe I didn't, show individuality and also boost the students confidence that I am showing to the class.