Our Visual Arts program is rooted in Lois Hetland’s “Eight Studio Habits” approach to teaching art. This approach encourages children to think like artists and to develop an artistic mind. Process, in this approach, is as important if not more important, than the end product.
The Eight Studio Habits are:
Develop Craft: Proper use of and care for studio tools, materials and workspace
Engage and Persist: Embrace problem-solving and develop focus
Envision: Picture mentally what cannot be directly observed to plan projects
Express: Create works that convey an idea, feeling or personal meaning
Observe: Look more closely than usual, discover what otherwise might not be seen
Reflect: Question, explain and evaluate artwork
Stretch and Explore: Reach beyond one’s capacity; embrace play and mistakes
Understand the Art World: Learn about art history and present art practice
IN THE CLASSROOM
Ms. Kitty has set up her art classroom into “studios,” including painting, dry construction, wet construction, technology, collage, clay and fashion. Students learn to “open” and “close” each studio, independently bringing out the materials and later putting them away. Our Pre-K students learn this practice as well, beginning with the painting studio and then applying this practice as each additional studio is introduced. This approach helps students gain a sense of ownership and autonomy as developing artists, internalizing the process of creating art on their own.
In the art classroom, students are taught a mini-lesson and then sent into the studios to work on their art. Projects fall under a variety of parameters, including “must-do” (assigned) projects, “showcase” projects (often displayed outside classrooms), and “bring home” projects. Students are also occasionally given the freedom to choose what type of project they will create.
To learn more about the work Ms. Kitty has done with Every Art, Every Child, a project in arts integration: http://everyarteverychild.org/foundation/whoweare.html
To learn about the experience in Ms. Kitty’s art classroom from a student teacher’s point of view: http://adventuresofanartist-teacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/student-teaching-at-ravenswood.html