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Excellent Visual Art Teaching

By: Sarah Mihich, Marketing Intern

As Teaching Artists for Arts for Learning, you might question the short term interaction you have with the students. For some of these students this art experience could be the only one they have for the entire year. No need to worry! There are ways to ensure that this teaching opportunity is the best art experience the students will receive.

The National Art Education Association in their recent Advocacy White Paper, “What Excellent Visual Arts Teaching Looks Like” explores the philosophy by Renee Sandell, a professor of Art Education at George Mason University. Her philosophy Form + Theme + Context = Art (FTC) gives teaching artists a more balanced approach to “decoding and encoding art and other phenomena for deeper meaning and engagement”.

Through understanding form, or how the work is, students will be able to understand the structural decisions an artist makes when creating a visual art piece. Through exploring the theme, or what the work is about, students will learn what the artist is trying to express through the composition. With students examining the contexts, or when whereby/for whom, and why the art was created, students will be able to comprehend the conditions in which the artist created the work from.  By using the FTC teaching philosophy, visual artists are able to ensure their lessons are balanced, interdisciplinary, and meaningful.

Excellent Visual Arts Teaching is balanced: There needs to be a balance between studying form, theme and context.

Excellent Visual Arts Teaching is Interdisciplinary: Studying the arts should show multiple connections to other subject areas for the students such as English, science, mathematics, physical education, social studies, music, and relation.

Excellent Visual Art Teaching is Meaningful: “Excellent visual arts teaching draws on art’s sensory nature to inspire individual enlightenment while building community”.

Understanding that visual art teaching is balanced, interdisciplinary, and meaningful then every lesson can be viewed as a “work of art on its own”. To learn more about the FTC approach or other philosophies on excellent visual art teachings click this link.

June 5, 2014

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