I have to say that I have had a quite a philosophical struggle with how to teach art.
My early childhood philosophy is around creativity, providing good quality materials to use and encouraging quite a freedom of expression – think the hundred languages of children ( Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia). The teacher becomes an artist too – modeling through participation in the art enriched environment.
However, primary teaching or my perception of primary level art is quite different to this. I’ve taught a couple of art lessons that have felt quite fruitless – full of method and chaos, children competing to fill the page the fastest and complete the task.
I have really had to step back and work out what I need to do to create an environment that encourages creativity but provides specific learning to enhance the creativity.
So after some thought and reflection and the advice of others I have actually combined both aspects over 2 lessons. The first will look at particular techniques and the second will allow the students to unleash those techniques in a creative expression. I have also set the scene and got the students thinking about the upcoming art 2 weeks in advance. In this way I am modeling that art is a process. That it involves thinking and planning. I can’t wait to evaluate whether this type of planning meets both the needs of the children and the needs of me as a teacher to feel comfortable and passionate about what I am teaching.