Thursday, July 2, 2015

Choosing a "Big Idea"

Last week was spent in Pennsylvania at an extremely interesting, out of state, in-service.
I spotted the above info on Facebook, thanks to somebody sharing it on the Art Teacher page. It never occurred to me that I would be the only one not connected to the state of Pennsylvania or Penn State. But, that was never an issue, EVERYONE was open, friendly and I was never made to feel like an outsider. I am now officially connected! Thank you Tina!

Soooooo at some point there were a few of us having a discussion about Big Ideas. And it turns out that my Big Ideas are different from their Big Ideas.  Confusing to say the least. At this point I really need to insert Phyllis Levine Brown's timely rant on Jurassic Jargon.

Anyway it turns out that the BIG difference is whether it's tangible or abstract. I learned a Big Idea is a life centered issue and NOT about art skills or techniques. (Dr. Christina Bain)
The first photo is what I found after doing a little research, the website is at the top. The second photo is from my district's website.

Sooooo it is the complete opposite of what I learned at my district............ Quite the dilemma.......
I am open to learning new things, so it is not an issue.

I will now present another one of the wonderful activities I learned last week.  We were instructed to pick out a piece of art work, figure out how to connect it to an assignment, then explain the why and what to our Admin. This is what I picked:

 The Big Idea is either Identity or Critical Thinking and Reflection. Depending on your district...

My assignment was for students to do a self portrait. But, obviously not your typical self portrait. They were to do a little thinking and reflecting about themselves to show the person who is looking at it something about their identity.  Us creative types can always get that jargon to fit!

Since I decided to do self portraits the first week back to school, I really like the twist of this one. I am planning to do a sample and will need to simplify for my 4th and 5th graders. I am going to approach it as a work of Contemporary Art. Which I learned a bunch of ways to classify thanks to Olivia Gude's  Postmodern Principles.  Olivia was a guest speaker and such an inspiration!

I will be using a mixed media approach and cut outs from magazines along with drawings and words that will give viewers some insight about me.  In describing this assignment to admin I will point out the higher order thinking involved in this project. And how important it is for students to be able to really think about who they are and what they want others to know about them.

I like the direction of this project because everyone's work will be different. And believe me that's a another blog post! Play vs School Art!  Next time!

Thanks for reading!!

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