Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Create > Texture Re-Materialization

Create > Texture Re-Materialization

Goal:  Recreate an historically significant artwork using different textural elements.

Catalysts:  Transfer, Fantasize, Texturize

Studio Activity:  
  1. Research and find an historically significant artwork to re-materialize.
  2. Duplicate the composition and subject-matter of the original using found objects, cloth, cut paper, etc. (actually anything) to re-make the artwork as a 3-dimensional sculpture or relief.  

Assemblage is an artistic process in which a three-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects.





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Formative Five - Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs

The Big Idea:  
Focusing on mastering oneself and establishing relationships with others is critical to success.

There is a growing awareness that our graduates will need much more than mastery of the three Rs to make it in the world.  Let’s broaden our curriculum and pedagogical focus beyond tests, grades and diplomas to include skills that are needed to achieve success beyond the school years.  How will our current students approach the complexity of problems they will face at age 25, 45 and 65.  

Lucky for us, hard and soft sciences have produced an impressive body of evidence that teaches us two very important things.  First, that we can take our innate abilities and cultivate them, just like we build up muscle, dexterity, and fluency.  And secondly, that social and emotional skills matter just as much in determining life satisfaction and success as traditional intelligence.  

“...only people who have the knowledge and skills to negotiate constant changes and reinvent themselves for new situations will succeed.” - Kay and Greenhill (2012)

“What matters most in a child’s development is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years.  What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence.” - Tough (2012)

“The most important tool is the person and his or her makeup, and yet it seems to get the least amount of attention and work.  Mostly, we focus on professional skills and knowledge instead.” - Cloud (2006)

“85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in ‘human engineering,’ your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.  Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge.” - Jensen (2012)

Appreciating the ‘whole child’ will be the norm as educators and stakeholders broaden their understanding of student growth.  As the economy increasingly delegates lower-level tasks to machines, we will increasingly turn our focus to teaching students how to solve complex challenges by managing themselves (e.g., through integrity, self-control, and grit) and their relationships (e.g., by employing empathy and embracing diversity).

The Formative Five Success Skills:
  • Empathy
  • Self-control
  • Integrity
  • Embracing diversity
  • Grit


 As an essential ingredient of well-being, empathy is defined by Collins English Dictionary as “The psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.”  Roman Krznaric calls it “The art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of other people, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions.

Strategies for developing empathy:
  • Help students recognize and understand the perspective of others
  • Have students engage in service learning
  • Help students appreciate their own backgrounds and biases
  • Create safe spaces for students to tell their stories
  • Consciously teach about stereotypes and discrimination
  • Have students examine historical examples of innocent people who were wrongly accused of crimes
  • Always encourage students to consider situations from a variety of perspectives
  • Assign books that feature a diversity of humanity

Books that support the development empathy:
  • El Deafo - Cece Bell
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today - David Messing
  • Seedfolks - Paul Fleischman
  • The Seventh Most Important Thing - Shelley Pearsall
  • Stand in My Shoes - Bob Sornson
  • When I Care About Others - Kathy Parkinson
  • Wonder - Raquel Palacio

Daniel Goleman defines self-control as “the ability to modulate and control one’s actions in age-appropriate ways; a sense of inner control.”  Walter Mischel says it is “the ability to delay gratification and resist temptation.”  James Heckman notes that self-control “depends upon much more than smarts.  Non-cognitive abilities - including strength of motivation, an ability to act on long-term plans, and the social emotional regulation needed to work with others - also have a large impact on earnings, employment, labor force experience, college attendance, teenage pregnancy, participation in risky activities, compliance with health protocols and participation in crime.”

Strategies for developing self-control:
  • Have students set two academic goals
  • Work to create a classroom climate in which kids support one another’s efforts at gaining self-control
  • Develop a mindfulness practice
  • Share some self-control quotations
  • Examine literature through the lens of self-control
  • Identify people or politicians in the news who failed to use self-control

Books that support the development of self-control:
  • True...Sort of - Katherine Hannigan
  • Takedown - Rich Wallace

Merriam-Webster defines integrity as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; incorruptibility.”  Integrity stems from honesty, but is a higher, more public form of action - we are consciously making our personal values known to others.  Integrity means being responsible for our actions and owning our roles in solving problems.  By teaching and promoting integrity, we help our students become leaders and change agents who feel a commitment to take a stand and make things right.  

Strategies for developing integrity:
  • Model honesty by quickly and visibly admitting to mistakes
  • Model integrity by talking about values and intervening in unfair situations
  • Help students understand that there are often difficult consequences for acting with integrity
  • Make a point of routinely applauding students when they step up to do the right thing.
  • Use the “Values Card Sort” to help students think about what matters to them > http://www.uihi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/FINAL-Value-Card-Set-082313-CMS.pdf

Books that support the development of integrity:
  • The Jacket - Clements
  • Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook - Park

Embracing Diversity:
Embracing Diversity:
Embracing diversity means understanding that we should recognize and appreciate the differences among us.  This attitude acknowledges our history of differences while empowering every person to succeed and enables all of us to come together in a caring, respectful, and productive way.  Embracing diversity conveys that tolerance or acceptance of those who are different than we are is necessary but we must go beyond tolerance and acceptance and learn to value, appreciate, and hold close others who are different.  This is critical given the correlation between and individuals poor performance as a result of projected negative stereotypes on that individual.  

Strategies for developing the skill of embracing integrity:
  • Refer to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance blog > www.teachingtolerance.org   
  • Ensure that the people and characters discussed in class or portrayed on walls represent a wide spectrum of demographic variables
  • Create mixed-variable learning groups so that students work withclassmates who are both like and unlike them

Books that support the development of embracing diversity:
  • Wonder - R. J. Palacio
  • George - Alex Gino
  • Totally Joe - James Howe
  • Speak to Me - English
  • Kimchi and Calamari - Kent
  • Firegirl - Abbott
  • Awkward - Chmakova

GRIT word cloud.jpg
Grit is tenacity, perseverance, hanging in, and not ever giving up.  Angela Duckworth calls grit a “combination of passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.”  Teaching for grit means addressing attitudes about what it takes to succeed.  Having grit means possessing an attitude that embraces challenges, willingly stepping out of the comfort zone, and never giving up.  Grit gives us the courage to take risks and to fail because we know that failure is a necessary ingredient in ultimate success.  In all endeavors, the achievements of highly successful people do not come easily, regardless of how effortless they may appear.  They possess their skills, talents, and acumen because they work diligently, persevering constantly to improve; they refuse to give up and are unwilling to settle for anything less than success.  They encounter frustrations and failures along the way, but they see them as obstacles, not walls.  
“Failure is a bruise.  Not a tattoo.” - Sinclair      

Strategies for developing grit:
  • Have students create a Grit Chart and post it in the classroom
  • Introduce and routinely use the term good failure so that students can understand that what matters is how they learn from failing
  • Use goal setting as a tool to work toward grit
  • Show Nike’s Failure commercial featuring Michael Jordan > www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA7G7AV-LT8
  • Have students interview people who are good at their jobs to see how much grit contributed to their success
  • Discuss how the words tenacity, resilience, pluck, stick-to-itiveness, backbone, guts, courage, bravery, resoluteness, intrepidness, and spunk are all related to the idea of grit and what the differences among them are
  • Have students write a letter offering strategies for developing grit in young children

Books that support the development of grit
  • Letters from Rifka - Hesse
  • Hatchet - Paulsen

The information provided above is from Thomas R. Hoerr’s book, The Formative Five - Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs.
Please feel free to contact me with questions or further clarification and examples.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sources of Ideas > Scanning and curating

Sources of Ideas
Scanning and curating > Breadth Studio Activities
Goal Concept:
Understand and be able to cultivate creativity strategies and improve time management.

Access Prior Knowledge:
“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.  Not being able to enlarge the one, let us contract the other.”  ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau > http://goo.gl/xuuca

Instructional Strategy
  • Identify similarities and differences
Learning Activity

Instructional Strategy
  • Deepen Understanding
Learning Activity

New Information:
Art Ideas - Art Problems
For designers, the problem-solving process begins when a client requests help or the designer identifies a need.  Fine artists generally invent their own aesthetic problems.  Ideas often arise from personal experience within a cultural context.  Combining awareness with empathy for others, many artists have transformed a specific event into a universal statement.  For example, Picasso’s Guernica > http://goo.gl/cTYIL  or Street artists JR > http://goo.gl/jF4KpZ

Sources of Ideas
Regardless of the initial motivation for their work, artists constantly scan their surroundings searching for visuals and ideas.  Often the most improbable object or idea may provide inspiration.  

Transform a Common Object
Frank Gehry based his armchair on the wood-strip bushel basket.  If you consider all the ideas that can be generated by a set of car keys, a pair of scissors, or a compass, you will have more than enough to get a project started.    

Study Nature
Ray Rogers is inspired by nature.  His spherical pots suggest the colors, textures, and economy of nature.  Through inventive use of materials you can reinterpret nature.  

Visit Museums
Make an effort to visit all kinds of museums and galleries.  Carefully observed, the history and physical objects produced by any culture can be both instructive and inspirational.  Unfamiliar concepts and compositions can suggest new ideas and fresh approaches.  

Be Authentic
Regardless of the source, every person approaches each problem on his or her own terms.  Each of us has a unique perspective, and the connections we make will vary.  As a student, you will learn more when you really embrace each assignment and make it your own.  Ask questions, so that you can understand the conceptual substance of each assignment.  When you re-frame the assignment in your own terms and plunge into the work wholeheartedly, the creative possibilities will expand and your imagination with soar.  

The Design Process:
When confronted with a problem or the beginning of a project, the artist asks
  1. What is needed?
  2. What existing designs are similar to the design we need?
  3. What is the difference between the existing designs and the new design?
  4. How can we transform, combine, or expand these existing designs?
Convergent Thinking
The problem-solving pursuit of a predetermined goal (remember the world prose)
  1. Define the problem
  2. Do research
  3. Determine your objective
  4. Devise a strategy
  5. Execute the strategy
  6. Evaluate the results

Learn More:
Read > Developing Ideas for Art > http://goo.gl/2jbp1Q

Art References:

Apply Knowledge and Skills:

Create >  “Wouldn’t it be a strange world if…”
Create art that mobilizes fantasy by arresting or reversing ‘laws of nature.’

Studio Activity: “Wouldn’t it be a strange world if…”
Make up a list of 10 impossible situations based on your reactions to “Wouldn’t it be a strange world if…”  Make a drawing, cartoon, collage, sculpture or painting that depicts one of your ideas.  
Check these assignments:
Surreal Interior > http://goo.gl/a3hSa3
Surreal Landscape > http://goo.gl/JheJhc     

Trigger Mechanisms: fantasize, invent, laugh

Visual Examples:

Materials: Paper, pencil, oil pastels, acrylics

Generalize, Reflect & Publish:
Instructional Strategy
  • Evaluate the results
Learning Activity
Reflect > Should I go back and rework anything?
  • How did you combine art elements (line, color, shape, texture, value)  to develop art principles? (Unity/variety, balance, emphasis contrast, rhythm, proportion/scale, figure/ground relationship)
  • Where are the dominant shapes, forms, colors, or textures that carry expressive significance?
  • Why Is the work ordered and balanced or chaotic and disturbing?
  • What gives the work its uniqueness?
  • Is symbolism used in the work to convey meaning other than what one sees?
  • Does the work evoke any feelings?

Instructional Strategy
  • Providing Recognition
Learning Activity
Publish > Share your album to our G+Community > Concepts & Creations category
Display > Add your photos to the Event

Instructional Strategy
  • Providing Feedback
Learning Activity
Critique >
  • Give positive feedback > +1 every image that deserves it
  • Give peer feedback > Give 2 peer images a VTS critique > http://goo.gl/1WWmBY
Self-assess >